Is there anyway to receive instant notifications for comments and answers?

I hope it's just my impression since I'm still too new to this whole stackoverflow thing.

For one I do realize there's some RSS support and some e-mail support for alerting notifications.

But I could find none for someone "replying" me on comments! Is this right? I mean, only way would be refreshing the specific webpage! o_O

In almost any forums, such as apple's or any VBBoard, the user is able to subscribe to any topic (similarly questions in here) to receive digest or instant e-mail alerts. A very simple, and critically important feature in my opinion.

In superuser I was lead to believe this is not possible, but there are RSS. Although I can't find RSS for replies. But isn't "answers" separated from it? Can't we have e-mail here? Or at least that RSS working?

Just now, the only notification I've got to see today surely came 26 minutes late!

So, bottom line:

How can we know when someone replied us, in each situation?

Or even yet: How do you do to keep in touch yourself with your stuff in here?

For the first question, I'm not sure how exact this site copies, but does have the ability to receive notification when someone replies to you in a comment, and puts your name in. Maybe it works here, too, I don't know :)

"You will now get notified of any comments that refer to you by @username in a comment, even if you do not own the post." from:

"How to be notified..."

For the last question: 'How do you do to keep in touch yourself with your stuff in here?" - I think the answer is, add a question to your Favorites page and keep checking back... And that appears to be a design feature of Stack Overflow - they want people to keep checking in periodically, as part of building the community. See:

"Notify more frequently than once a day"

So, given that the Answers site is a copy of StackOverflow - I suspect that instant gratification is off the menu, sorry. :)

John C>

"For all your days, prepare, and meet them ever alike;

When you are the anvil, bear - when the hammer, strike."

I couldn’t bother to re-read all this, but I believe all those notification issues were fixed once we moved from StackOverflow Engine to Qato, which might be the best part of this change! \o/