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I have seen many good comments that really improve the quality of questions and answers, and I think they deserve a bit of reputation (maybe just 1 point) for a upvote.

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I rather like that comments don't affect reputation... It seems to add a conversational element without some of the grandstanding that conversational answers so often devolve into. Not everything useful to the site needs to be tied to rep. –  Shog9 Jun 28 '09 at 18:14
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I agree with @Shog9 to a large degree. It's nice to be able to add something to the discussion without worrying about being down-voted. However, it would be nice if there was some acknowledgement - hmm I think I see an answer coming on... –  ChrisF Jun 28 '09 at 18:18
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Comments are nice because you can say what you want and you can't get downvoted. –  deleted Jun 28 '09 at 18:24
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It's turtles all the way down, Joel. –  Nosredna Jun 29 '09 at 4:45
    
Jeff? Any answer? –  deleted Aug 18 '09 at 0:32
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@Isaac, I just look for some other question they answered and downvote them there ;) –  hyperslug Aug 18 '09 at 0:40
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@ChrisF: Pundit badge. –  dmckee Aug 18 '09 at 4:07
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Man... this popped up on the front page and i opened it to rail against it... only to find i already had. I feel cheated! –  Shog9 Aug 21 '09 at 21:30
    
Is it still true that up-votes on comments don't get you reputation? I could've sworn I did get some a while ago... –  DaveBall aka user750378 Sep 18 '11 at 12:17
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It's ironic that you said "Where are you Jeff" and he was the one to add the status-declined tag. :) –  Annonomus Person Apr 20 '13 at 20:54
    
@shog9 Imagine if you got rep for your first comment here... :-D –  Marius Falkenberg Waldal Feb 15 at 11:55
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11 Answers

up vote 60 down vote accepted
+100

Rather than 1 point for a single up-vote on a comment perhaps if it was 1 point (or 5 points) for 10 or more up-votes that might work.

Having said that, I'm not really in favour of rep for comments. It would change how they were seen and used. I'd only go for it if there were a really convincing argument that it would work.

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I was thinking maybe 1 point per 10 upvotes or similar. If you make a comment and get 10 or 20 upvotes on the comment, I think the community has agreed "This adds value". –  TecBrat Oct 24 '13 at 15:22
    
I think this is a goodIdea. Can a status-declined change into a status-planned? Because currently you get no reputation for comments: whats-reputation –  javaPlease42 Nov 9 '13 at 23:44
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I'd say no, you can go too far in refining a 'points system'.

I recently passed the magical 2000 rep mark, and can now edit other peoples questions and answers. There is no reputation gain for that either, and I find it quite refreshing to be able to do 'good' just for the sake of it, without thinking about reputation...

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There is a badge awarded for 100 edited entries. :P –  ahsteele Jun 29 '09 at 5:29
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@ahsteele: You can get that even if they're you're own edits though.... –  Billy ONeal Apr 3 '10 at 5:20
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I do not believe that reputation should be given for comments. And this is coming from a guy who spends a lot of time posting comments that get voted up a lot. The content in comments tends more often to be of the witty/funny variety, or further clarification to questions that arise from other answers. I would say that most of the time the comments do not deserve any type of reputation gain.

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I agree in theory with the reasons others have given for not allowing this, however I often wonder if people post answers which are really comments because there's no rep available for comments. Example, the accepted answer on this question reads more like a comment than an answer.

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Your example doesn't work anymore. There isn't any acceptetd answer to the question: What proxy software would suit this puropse? on Superuser. Maybe deleted? –  Don Dio Sep 2 '13 at 12:46
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Answers in comments

Comments are not supposed to contain answers, in any form. If you feel you have an answer to contribute then post it as an answer; in which case it will have all the usual voting you describe as wanting for a comment. Comments are to ask for clarification or point out a mistake.

Stack exchange vs forums

The whole Stack exchange system was envisioned to correct the problem of forums;

  • The answer hidden somewhere in a long thread, possibly over multiple posts.
  • Intermingled with questions to the OP (original poster) and clarifications from the OP
  • Intermingled with wrong answers, probably with the wrong answers first
  • Intermingled with arguments about which answer is best.

Stack exchange was designed to solve these problems with vote based free floating answers where the best answer floats to the top. Any attempt to encourage or reward posting answers in the comments is to return to that forum hell.

Requests for clarification etc are necessary, but they must not cloud the main event; the answers. So they are put somewhere out of the way; namely the comments

The effect of comment votes

Comment votes (apart from one badge) have only one effect; making the comment more visible by not hiding it and numerically showing its relevance. Given this what would a down vote serve, the comment is already eligible to be hidden if its not up voted so "not very important" and a comment can't be "wrong" because it shouldn't be an answer.

Reposting other peoples comments as answers

When someone has misunderstood the system, and posted an answer as a comment reposting it as an answer is a good thing to do (post as community wiki for guilt free helping), once it is a real answer it can be voted upon as such and so (if its a good answer) it will be up voted and float to the top. The same goes for when many comments together make a good answer (but in that case I probably wouldn't community wiki because real editorial work has been done)

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Note this was posted as an answer to annother question which was then merged. This may explain why I have focused on certain elements –  Richard Tingle Sep 24 '13 at 20:49
    
+1 For a strong focus on a better SO. I have seen quite a few very short answers, which were likely the answer, posted as comments. –  sancho.s Dec 6 '13 at 12:16
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We now have the Pundit silver badge for comment upvotes.

Check out Reversal and Pundit Badges

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I don't think you should get reputation for upvoting comments for several reasons:

  1. You can upvote but you can't downvote;
  2. Comments might improve the post but so do edits; and
  3. Most highly upvoted comments are humorous in nature.

(3) is particularly important here. For example, look at the second comment on Jon Skeet Facts: 231 upvotes for "Who the hell is Jon Skeet?". Now I don't mind comments like this and there aren't many of them (at least in part) because there is no reputation for them. I think you'd seen a lot more of them of lower quality if comments got reputation.

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Then again, most highly voted answers are humorous in nature. Why couldn't comments on CW posts be excluded? –  mmyers Aug 18 '09 at 14:29
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I disagree that "most highly voted answers are humorous in nature" (for non-CW questions). Care to back that claim up? –  cletus Aug 18 '09 at 15:12
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That's not what I said, so I'm not going to try to back it up. My point was that since CW posts don't generate rep, excluding comments on CW posts from generating rep would make sense. The reason I mention it is because the only example you cited was from a CW question. –  mmyers Aug 18 '09 at 18:26
    
Examples: stackoverflow.com/questions/888224#888242 and stackoverflow.com/questions/888224#888246 and stackoverflow.com/questions/895371. All being examples of non-CW comments. –  cletus Aug 18 '09 at 23:07
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Yeah, and I think it's a bug that those answers are not CW. As for the question, which of the comments do you object to? The one about the lawn (with 12 votes), or were you going down the list in meta.stackexchange.com/questions/12662/…? All I'm saying is that there are humorous answers that are not CW, but we still give rep for answers. I'm not trying to counter your first or second points, but I just don't think the third is particularly relevant when CW is taken into consideration. –  mmyers Aug 19 '09 at 15:57
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You would have to change the commenting implementation a bit first : for now you can't undo an upvote and can't down vote a comment.

Also a comment is useful, yes but less than a answer so it should get less points as Chacha102 suggested.

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I think that comments should get 10 points per 10 upvotes. This makes making good comments actually beneficial.

I also think that we need to do more with the comments. You should be able to see how many upvotes you get for comments and possibly show your best comments alongside questions and answer. Comments are really just commentary to answers, and people can make a lot of great commentary, which should be highlighted.

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Even if comments did give a tiny bit of rep like you suggest, it wouldn't make much difference. I'd get maybe 300 rep at the most, and I have the Pundit badge. –  mmyers Aug 18 '09 at 14:31
    
@mmyers - it wouldn't make much difference... to you. –  w3d Jul 30 '10 at 9:38
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No, comments are second-class citizens by intention. Stack Exchange is about Questions and Answers and not about comments.

Comments are only for clarification and so on and should not count towards your reputation.

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The fact is, sometimes the answer is very short, and you (who answer) don't want to create a real answer for a very short message that actually solve the problem of the Orignal Poster.

Some classic example are

"Check that there is no proxy on your outgoing request"

Or

"Check the configuration for parameter X that should be Y"

I'd say yes, good comments should be rewarded of 1 reputation each 3-4 upvote, or at least the Original Poster shuould have the possibility to reward somehow a comment that actually solved his problem. Maybe by converting or copying the comment in an actual answer and accepting it.

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You can make such a comment into a proper answer by taking a minute to explain why this advice might correct the problem. –  Shog9 Jan 25 at 20:01
    
Yeah, that's true, but it's up to the one that answer. You can see a lot of questions in SO that are solved in comments, and those poor guys will never be rewarded. I think that if the Original Poster find the correct hint to solve his problem inside a comment, he must have the possibility to reward the poster of that comment. That's my humble opinion. –  thermz Jan 26 at 1:44
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