I like the editing features on stackexchange, but can we be notified if editing of the actual question posed?

I recently had one of my questions receive four answers that all seemed to be ignoring what I had asked, which seemed odd. I then noticed that the question had been edited, and the editor removed part of the headline that was fairly key to the discussion.

I'm sure it was an innocent mistake and not realizing what I was asking, but I'm somewhat frustrated that I didn't even get a message in my inbox about the edit, which means the answers are pretty much wasted, as they aren't answering the question I asked!

Is there a preference to get emailed just for edits to questions, but not the answers?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I can't help but notice that the subject of this question is very different from the one you pose in the text. Is this a trick? :) \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Feb 15, 2011 at 18:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ heh, good catch. There was a slightly more irritated draft of the question that was more of a complaint, so I rewrote it to focus on a suggestion of how to fix it, and forgot to change the heading. I've fixed it now. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 15, 2011 at 19:13

2 Answers 2


The envelope will light up when your questions are edited; click it to see.

Beyond that, as the faq states:

Other people can edit my stuff?!

Like Wikipedia, this site is collaboratively edited, and all edits are tracked. If you are not comfortable with the idea of your questions and answers being edited by other trusted users, this may not be the site for you.

  • \$\begingroup\$ oh, I like the editing feature, I just think there would be benefit in getting more rapid notice that the question was changed. I'll often leave a question up for a while before checking back, so don't want all answers forwarded to my email. If someone edited the question though, suddently all later answers can be unhelpful, so it would be helpful to be able to be informed more rapidly, which gives me a chance to correct it before others answer an irrelevant question. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 15, 2011 at 19:16

As a general practice, I always read my own questions (and answers) after posting them, to make sure they make sense. There are times when I start writing something, and what I finish up with is different than what I started out with, and I need to rework the question or answer. I recommend proof reading your questions, especially with the point of view of your readers, before letting them be.

Things that make total sense to you may not necessarily make sense to others if you don't specify the correct context. It is important to provide as much information and specificity as you can when asking a question, so that when people do come by to answer your question, they thoroughly understand what you are asking. If people have been editing your answers to make them more understandable, and they change the fundamental meaning of what you were asking, then something critical is missing.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'll be specific in this example: \$\endgroup\$ Feb 17, 2011 at 19:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jon.Griffen which example? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 18, 2011 at 19:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Browser crash ate my response. I had a topic edited from "where can I buy $part_foo" to "what are services that will install a $foo for me". The only other part of the edit was a spelling correction. A few users had already responded to my question before the edit, so I do think it was clear enough. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 18, 2011 at 19:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ That particular question was answered with a services suggestion while the original question was intact (as it should have been). The conversion you had in mind is not really suitable for kitchen table tinkering -- it requires at least focus adjustment and should be done in a cleanroom environment. \$\endgroup\$
    – user2719
    Feb 21, 2011 at 4:19

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