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TL,DR: Browser addon that highlights answers and questions by your favorite users!


See it in work:

Addon in work

And the easy config via user's profile:

star in the profile


Just like many other people before us, even we once began to wonder how to favorite a user on Stack Overflow (or any other Stack Exchange site). When you stick around the same topic on Stack Exchange for a time long enough, you'll get to meet the same people again and again. Some of them will prove themselves to be right very often, others will even be developers of the discussed technology, so they'll be right every time, some will be famous, too. We wanted to immediatelly see those people's answers and comments when we came across them, because they'd sure be worth it. However, the response to favorite users / friends / private messages requests has always been the same:

Repeat after me: SO is not a social networking site.

Right. While that's probably true and we mostly agree with it, is there really no way to follow a user?

You can follow their RSS feed. Scroll all the way to the bottom of their user page. The RSS link is on the right.

Now that's something, isn't it? No. It's not. We suspect this to be a feature only to make masses quiet. There's hardly any useful application of this except getting noticed about friend's every move, so one could automatically upvote it. We don't want to stalk anyone!

The FriendOverflow app is a step forward, but in a different direction than we'd like to see. We just couldn't find a script/addon that would suit all our needs, therefore ... here it is: The Stack Exchange Favorite Users addon which allows you to highlight posts written by your favorite users.


CHANGELOG

  • Version 1.1:
    • Updated to work for recent Stack Exchange changes. Fixes unhighlighted accepted answers.
  • Version 1.4:
    • bugfixes
    • highlights now also work on front page, on Questions tab and on Unanswered tab
    • working Opera version, too
    • Chrome version now has working autoupdate
share|improve this question
    
Looks interesting. Is it me, or does your code auto-favourite your (Slanec) profile? –  Benjol Jul 12 '12 at 5:38
    
BTW, I'd consider rewriting your "we/us" to "I/me", it comes across a bit strangely (unless there really are more than one of you)... –  Benjol Jul 12 '12 at 5:39
    
@Benjol Well, yeah. I'm sorry, now it seems like a premature idea - I just wanted to show it off as soon as you install it :). You can, of course, go to Options and delete me, or go to my profile (no shameless ads included ;-) ) any un-star it next to my name. –  Slanec Jul 12 '12 at 7:10
    
@Benjol About the I/we - that's a mess :(. The truth is that the plugin is a cooperative work of me and my friend (I did the Firefox work, he did the Chrome work ... and the website). Therefore "I" is more or less used when I wrote it on my behalf, "we" is used everywhere else. But hey, it's a free give-something-to-community project, so I won't edit it just to rephrase it :). –  Slanec Jul 12 '12 at 7:14
    
It's a great idea, but unfortunately I can't test it due to Not available for Firefox 3.6.15. Is there any serious obstacles preventing it to work with older FF? –  bytebuster Aug 9 '12 at 11:26
    
@bytebuster I'm sorry for a late answer, but actually yes, it won't work for FF3.6, because the add-on SDK does not support it and the add-on uses some of its features. Sorry. –  Slanec May 27 '13 at 19:44

2 Answers 2

Liking it so far.

Here are some ideas. No idea how practical they are.

  • I'd really like a page which could tell me the latest activity of all my favourite users, maybe with a clever filter to remove the uninteresting stuff (badges, edits, accepts).
  • My browser just popped up a window for a fraction of a second. Please tell me that wasn't you...

Note that this is especially useful (for me) on meta, where I tend to follow certain users around to see where the 'interesting' stuff is happening.

share|improve this answer
    
I like it that you like it! I have used it myself for three weeks now and it's really been very useful. No, the plugin does absolutely nothing more that it says it does. No popping windows! Intentionally, at least. Can you please tell me your browser version so I can fiddle with it a little and make sure it was something else? –  Slanec Jul 12 '12 at 7:17
    
About the idea of a page for the latest activity - I'm giving it on a list, but as of now, it's absolutely out of scope of the intended plugin. We could get there, eventually, but no promises given! You might be interested in the FriendOverflow app (not my work.) –  Slanec Jul 12 '12 at 7:21
    
I have developed a very similar app - StackEye which allows you to follow your favorite users and even questions as well. There even exists a page where you can see the activity of your favorite users. Check out the screenshots here –  blunderboy Mar 23 at 3:41

The creators' ideas for future improvement - if somebody actually uses the plugin, we'll possibly implement some of these:

  • Possibility to configure a different color for every SE site (because one-color-for-all approach is working, but there's no single color that would fit all of them nicely).
  • Possibility to configure a different color for any user. Make Jon Skeet shine even more with magenta stripes!
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