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Sometimes a comment can add great value to an answer once its content has been incorporated into the answer. Perhaps correcting an error to an otherwise good answer, plugging a logic hole, rendering a more elegant solution, making an important clarification to explanations, etc.

Once the answer has incorporated the comment/suggestion, it would be nice to credit the commenter with a "slice of the pie" - ie share reputation gains between the answerer and the commenter, as recognition of their contribution as "co author" to the final answer.

The simplest way would be to make upvotes on comments yield reputation, but that barrow has been pushed before.

A few possibilities I could think of for sharing rep are:

  • The commenter can be added to the answer as a "reputation sharer" - reputation gains from the answer are split 50/50 from then on
  • The answerer can make a "donation" of reputation from the answer to the commenter - eg if the answer has 4 votes, they can donate up to 40 reputation (there may have to be a requirement that this donation comes off the rep cap, so answerers don't distribute their excess rep when exceeding their rep cap)
  • Upvotes made by the answerer to comments on the answer do get reputation (maybe 5 - transferred as per previous point)

Why bounty doesn't quite fit:

The bounty process is just too long winded and doesn't have an on-going effect if the answer turns out to be a really good one. The bounty is too delayed. They didn't answer, they just added value - I just want to give the comenter a pat on the back right there and then, and I don't mind giving up some erep to do it.

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    Naw, I don't think this is a good idea, not to mention extremely hard to integrate. If you really, really want to thank someone you could bounty one of their good answers.. or (maybe) give them an upvote on a good post. – ɥʇǝS Jul 31 '13 at 3:41
  • @seth difficulty of implementation doesn't mean it's a bad idea – Bohemian Jul 31 '13 at 3:42
  • @Bohemian No, it doesn't. That was just a side note. Also, if you want to donate 40 rep you might as well give them a 50 rep bounty... – ɥʇǝS Jul 31 '13 at 3:44
  • @Skippy sorry - my laptop sometimes submits comments before I've finished typing - see now. – Bohemian Jul 31 '13 at 3:44
  • @Bohemian no worries, I hear ya! I was going to suggest what Seth said, y not give a bounty? I gave you +1 for thinking, trying and caring ;) – Nobody Jul 31 '13 at 3:45
  • @Skippy see myu edit, but it's one-off (doesn't keep working) and is just too long. I want to thank (and award) the guy now, not in a few days. – Bohemian Jul 31 '13 at 3:47
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    If the commenter really cared about reputation, he or she would have posted an answer instead of a comment. Like Seth says, this is unnecessarily complicated for minimal to no benefit. – Cody Gray Jul 31 '13 at 5:54
  • @CodyGray that does look like a dup, but the situation I'm thinking of is where the comment couldn't be an answer, and to make an answer out of it would be mostly plagiarism. – Bohemian Jul 31 '13 at 7:00
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    Incorporating relevant information from a comment into an answer is perfectly fine. Plagiarism is when you fail to give credit to the original source. A name and/or a link to the comment is perfectly sufficient to satisfy this. All content on the site is licensed by cc-wiki, all that is required is attribution. – Cody Gray Jul 31 '13 at 7:01
  • I'm not that creative when it comes to gaming the system, but I suspect implementing this might lead to some serious gaming behaviors (for example, I might reward someone because his comment is funny; or I can use these mechanism to distribute rep to a person who's a friend or a person who negotiated a deal with me involving bitcoins or something like that). – Old Checkmark Jul 31 '13 at 7:54
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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.

If comment is really helpful then it should be answer to the post.

  • What if the comment by itself is not an answer? Actually they almost always aren't answers. What if the comment improves the answer greatly, but could never be an answer. And making an answer using it would be copying the answer = plagiarism. – Bohemian Jul 31 '13 at 6:58
  • Nah, the whole plagiarism angle doesn't fly here @bohemian. – Bart Jul 31 '13 at 7:07

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