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Up-votes on comments don't get you any reputation, which in general is a good thing, and which has been discussed before. However, the highest rated (and accepted) answer indicates there is room for discussion.

There is one scenario where getting reputation for a certain comment would be a good thing. When a user helps out (assists) an existing answer to improve or correct it.

This would promote users to complete an already partially correct answer, instead of posting their own answer which adds little extra.

A trivial implementation would be to get reputation when an answerer up-votes a comment on his answer, let's say 5 exp. In this case the existing user interface doesn't need to be changed.

To prevent giving reputation to non-helpful answers (e.g. 'funny' answers) an assist icon could be made visible to comments on your own answers. However, the possible +5 reputation for a 'funny' answer isn't that much and probably isn't worth changing the UI for.

An alternative suggestion:

Once an answerer has upvoted or marked a comment as helpful, all upvotes on that comment give a reputation increase.

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Actually 5 exp is pretty low as it can only be given one time. 10 reputation sounds fairer. – Steven Jeuris Jul 19 '11 at 23:13
up vote 9 down vote accepted

This would tend to encourage more and more comments which is something that is actively being discouraged. If something makes an answer more complete then it should be edited into the answer. Let's not get into the business of wading through a sea of comments in order to piece together a complete answer.

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True, perhaps an edit could be marked as a particulary helpful edit by the original answerer instead? I believe 2 rep for an edit is a small incentive to edit an existing answer instead of answering yourself. – Steven Jeuris Jul 19 '11 at 23:53
That's been suggested. Have a look at… – squillman Jul 20 '11 at 0:38

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