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The badge system is a fairly successful large scale experiment in social engineering: give people little shiny badges for doing the things you want them to do. If you have a decent answer to someone's problem, and you take the time to craft it properly, you can turn what would be a 2-3 vote answer to a 10+ vote answer and wind up with yet another badge. Cool for you, much cooler for the network.

But when it comes to comments, once you have 10 comments of 5+ (Pundit), there is no badge-worthy motivation to continue to make good comments. Is this intentional? Or an oversight?

Now don't get me wrong, this is not a request for some kind of gold badge for comments (like 100 5+ vote comments) nor a recurring silver badge (for example a 10+ vote comment) because those would require a discussion to really flesh out what the desired behavior and thresholds are, and that's not what this is about. This is more about have those discussions ever taken place, and is there a desire to encourage people to make good comments?

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Information on SE sites is contained in questions and answers. If a comment is good, in that it provides useful information, it should be incorporated into the question/answer it comments on, or it should be converted into an answer. Comments can be useful for clarifying issues, but they are intended to be ephemeral. Real information goes into questions and answers.

Comment behavior doesn't need encouragement.

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Comments are not the primary focus of a Q&A site. Its the questions and answers.

We don't want to encourage people to post unneeded comments that may detract from the main focus.

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Neither are edits the primary focus of a Q&A site, but 8 (or 10 depending on how you look at it) badges regarding edits. Wouldn't those encourage unnecessary edits? – corsiKa Jul 19 '12 at 20:09
@corsiKa - Making Questions and Answer better is certainly a focus. – Oded Jul 19 '12 at 20:10
And how are comments not ways to make questions and answers better by either pointing out flaws or suggesting improvements? – corsiKa Jul 19 '12 at 20:11
@corsiKa editing the answer is an even better way to improve it. Comments are often ignored by future readers. If you leave a comment, and the poster makes an improvement based on your suggestion, it is probably ok to delete your comment, since it served its purpose. In 6 months nobody cares that the answer got better because someone else commented. – Aaron Bertrand Jul 19 '12 at 20:17

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