Continuing the discussion from Email notification on new topic for "tracked" category:
I don’t seem to be the only one who just can’t get used to (in the sense of still having to think twice which is which) the terms “watching” and “tracking”. So I’m making this daring move to suggest that there might be better ways of naming these functions.
Although I am not a native English speaker, I am pretty sure that there is nothing in “watching” that makes it a more intense activity than “tracking”. Indeed, my personal semantics suggest that tracking is more intense than watching ("I watch my daughter play by the pond, but I don’t track every step of her as long as she doesn’t get too close to the water’).
Another problem with these termd is that - I believe - they are not commonly used for similar functions in other software.
Personally, I would find “subscribing” much more intuitive for what “watching” currently does. I think “subscribing” is so clear that it almost doesn’t matter what the tracking function is called, because it would be obvious by implication that it is something less intense than subscribing. So I will refrain from suggesting an alternative to tracking.
The only downside I can see with “subscribing” is that it might be too strong in the sense that it might me read as “having something sent home by email”. But then again, that will even be true if the user is not online.
Having said that, I’m sure the team has chosen watching and tracking for good reasons so I’m curious what aspects I might be ignoring here…