I've been on some forums where you can subscribe to a thread without posting in it--you get email notices when there's a new post to it. I like it because you can follow an interesting thread without having to post.
I'd love to see that on the Cow sometime, if possible. There are so many forums with great stuff in them that it can be hard to remember where you saw a thread that was really interesting/informative that you want to check up on.
I'll be honest with you -- I don't see this one coming any time soon. For Cow members, the product is the Cow, so why wouldn't we push that information straight to you?
The answer is that the product that we SELL to people with bags of money is the traffic -- the visits to the site. So we're trying to encourage people to come to the site for general reading and posting...but yeah, once you've posted on a thread, we'll also make it as easy as possible for you to track an ongoing conversation that you're officially part of.
That's our attempt to balance of the needs of members and the needs of advertisers. I know it looks like we have a lot of them, and we do, with a waiting list for advertisers wanting to get in. But the expenses of supporting 850,000 unique visitors monthly, downloading as much as 17TB of content DAILY are high enough that we need all the help we can get.
In the meantime, thanks so much for being part of the family for so long. Only 150 posts short of your "1000 Posts" Merit Badge!
I totally understand that the traffic is important, and the more traffic you can drive to the site the better it is for the Cow, and definitely for the advertisers.
I guess I was looking for a way to "subscribe" to a thread and get email notifications that say "an answer has been posted to the thread 'thread subject line' you subscribed to", without seeing the actual post. That would drive me immediately to the site to read the thread. But that could also work against you--it may lead people to only come back reading when they see something has been posted! It would be easy to miss the other great threads you find by browsing.
Kind of a double edged sword, eh? And I'm sure the extra bandwidth/server costs would be huge. So I'd love to see it, but it makes sense why it wouldn't be implemented.
Thanks for responding. Now I need to go find 150 questions to answer to hit the 1,000 post mark!
PS. About the number of advertisers on the site--I personally see it as a plus. We needed to buy stock footage the other day so I came straight to the Cow to see if a stock footage company was advertising here. If I see their ad here I know it's a legit company, and there's often a discount for clicking through!