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Activity Streams are a very useful new feature of JIRA 4, but you might not realize how pervasive they are, or all the cool stuff you can do with them. Before we get to that, proper homage should be paid to Facebook, who really pioneered the concept through the Facebook News Feed. The News Feed was a simple component of the Facebook homepage that displayed real-time updates from users in your network. It was the easiest way to keep up with what your friends were doing, and you could quickly monitor their status updates, profile changes, apps they added to Facebook, groups they joined and more.
Enter Activity Streams in JIRA 4
If you’re a Facebook user, you’ll instantly recognize the utility. But we’ve taken it up a notch. Firstly, Activity Streams in JIRA 4 are literally everywhere:
on any dashboard, in a gadget
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on the summary screen of each project
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on the bottom of each issue
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and on the profile page of each user.
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Activity Streams keep track of everything users do in the system – creating or deleting issues, commenting, changing issue assignment or status, and most other issue operations, like attachments or workflow changes. And each stream is RSS-enabled, so you can quickly grab a feed url to track activity in your favorite feed reader. For the more anal meticulous among us, this is a surefire way to keep things from slipping by.

Comments in the stream
One nifty capability of JIRA 4 Activity Streams is direct, in-line commenting. See a comment on an issue you want to respond to? Hover over it, click the comment icon, and start typing. See an update to an issue status, or a new assignee added to an issue? You can comment directly from those as well. And image attachments are displayed as thumbnails directly in the stream.
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Activity Streams are a great way to stay updated, to peek into the historical progress of a project or an issue, or to see what a particular user has been focusing on. It’s also a very useful shortcut to dive directly into an issue with a comment. As Homer Simpson would say, “Hmmmmmmm, streamy.”
Want to see a live activity stream in action? Check out the activity stream for the JIRA project on our public implementation of JIRA.

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