I think people care, but watchlists aren't at the top of the priority list right now. One reason might be that the users' needs and use cases aren't as straightforward and easy to understand as for other features, like Notifications. Another reason is probably that global watchlists couldn't be implemented until we had a consistent SUL system. Since SUL finalization is now well underway, now is the perfect time to restart talking about global watchlists.
I think it would really help if someone could consolidate the existing discussions, bugs, feature requests, etc. on a page like Global watchlist. The main focus of the page would be on a watchlist that works across wikis, but the page could probably also benefit from prioritization of other related features and enhancements of the watchlist interface itself.
Apart from prioritization, this would probably also benefit from consolidating input from many users, to be sure that the use cases we're talking about are consistent with how people use their watchlists.
Basically, the questions we'd need to answer so that developers can work on global watchlists are those:
- How do users use their watchlist?
- What would be the best way to implement a global watchlist? What would it look like?
- What other changes would we need to make to the watchlist system and interface to make this work?
- What other changes would we want to make to the watchlist system and interface while we're at it?
Some of these questions can be answered by going through existing bugs and discussions on bugzilla and wiki pages, and some will probably require talking to users to get their perspective.
Would you be interested in helping with this? You don't have to do it alone; I'm sure many people would be glad to participate and organize that page. I can also help in recruiting people, particularly if we want people with different backgrounds (power users, designers to help design the interface, etc.).
As a long-time Wikimedian active on several wikis, I certainly feel your pain and I'd love to finally be able to use a global watchlist. Let me know if you think you could help.