Ok, not exactly circles like G+, but I would like to be able to create a list of users who I think give especially good answers or ask interesting questions.

So the idea is that I can go to this user's profile and have a button to add him to my list of users to follow. (And later remove if I want)

In my own profile I have a new tab where I can see all questions and answers by users who are in my list.

This would not only be a interesting new feature, but would as a nice side effect enhance the community feeling.


Probably not.

This idea has been brought in up various ways on Meta Stack Overflow and it has always been rejected. The users aren't the focus of Stack Exchange. Content and knowledge sharing are. Being able to "favourite" users goes against that philosophy of deemphasizing the person in favour of the content they produce.

This goes both ways -- someone's reputation or fame doesn't exempt them from having to adhere to the quality and behaviour standards set on the network.

In other words, "who" doesn't matter. "What" does.

  • Ok, thanks for the link. It's discussed quite fully there. I didn't notice the User RSS feed yet, that will do for me. (It's a bit hidden). I just think, that sometimes the person can lead to interesting content. – thorsten müller Jul 29 '11 at 19:39
  • Just tried to close the question, but seems I can't do that. If I try to mark it as 'exact duplicate' it doesn't accept your link as a question. – thorsten müller Jul 29 '11 at 19:43
  • @thorsten That's okay. Duplicates don't get linked across sites. Leaving this question as is with an accepted answer is good enough. Thanks! – Adam Lear Jul 29 '11 at 19:48

Circles would detract from the Stack Exchange experience.

First and foremost, it would alter voting patterns and the reputation system, and not in a good way.

Consider this complaint from a Hacker News user about an HN anti-pattern:

I feel like there was a fast slide to content-free echo chamberism a while ago... Certain HN rockstars would receive hundreds of upvotes for the most minor of comments...

IMO, Stackexchange Circles would fuel a similar trend.

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