Is there a mechanism to watch threads (and I don't just mean those that one has started)?
For example, I might find a thread in which I'd be interested but don't know enough about to contribute?
In Oracle forums one used to be able to "watch" a thread and a pair of little glasses (binoculars?) would appear beside it so that the watcher could see simply by scrolling down the list of threads/questions which ones had previously piqued their interest. Sometimes I find myself saying "drat" (or other words :-) ), "where's that post on <_insert obscure topic of choice>".
Maybe some mechanism whereby a user could
signal general interest (pair of binoculars icon on the main page - but don't bother notifying me)
notify me of answers via the (way cool) Recent inbox messages icon
or notify me of all activity (answers and comments)
Some sort of default could be included in one's profile (general interest, answer, comment level) - I know that one can receive email notifications, but personally, there's enough clutter in my inbox.