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Quite often a new user asks a question which causes several people to comment on it and the OP later posts a comment, but does not ping any users (i.e. by typing @commentersName) in their comment even though it is definitely a reply to a specific comment above. I would assume that many of them do not know how to ping other users.

My suggestion is that for new users only (could be determined either by reputation or total number of comments posted), when they go to click the Add comment button and their message will not ping anyone, display some sort of warning message explaining that they may want to ping someone above and include basic instructions. Of course, also include the option to post the comment anyway.

Here's a quick example of what I mean:

Add comment example

Here's the HTML in case anyone's interested:

<div class="message message-warning" style="position: absolute; display: block;"><div class="message-inner"><div class="message-text" style="padding-right: 35px;">Hey there! Try typing an <kbd>@</kbd> symbol and then the name of someone who has commented here and they will be notified of this reply. <a href="https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/43019/how-do-comment-replies-work">(more info)</a>
<br>

<input type="button" value="Add comment anyway">
  <p><input type="checkbox">Do not show me this again</p>
</div></div></div>
  • But we already have a good thing under the "help" right next to text box. Though I think that the first-second time the user comments to someone the dialog should be shown so that the user should know what to do. – Firelord Jul 28 '15 at 1:20
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    @Firelord Agreed. That's why I emphasized that it would be for new users only. – Mike Jul 28 '15 at 1:21
  • possible duplicate of How do comment @replies work? – HackerKarma Jul 28 '15 at 1:25
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    @HackerKarma I already know how comment replies work. This isn't a support question, it's a feature request. – Mike Jul 28 '15 at 1:30
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    @Mike but then we do have "help" right next to text box along with "learn more..." link for additional details. That is where I learned how to use comment when I was newbie. Do you really think system should track "number of comments posted" for each user... what's should be the threshold to begin with. – HackerKarma Jul 28 '15 at 1:38
  • @Mike I'm looking for the ways to cancel dupe flag but I guess I don't have enough reps. to do that.... Let's wait and see what the result comes from the moderators/high-reps. users. Hope it gets declined... – HackerKarma Jul 28 '15 at 1:48
  • @HackerKarma 'Do you really think system should track "number of comments posted" for each user?' - All comments are stored in a database. A simple DB query would get the number of comments a user has posted. No additional "tracking" required. "what's should be the threshold to begin with?" This may have to be tested, however It's obviously something that could easily be modified. This could possibly be done only the first time that they post a comment without pinging someone. – Mike Jul 28 '15 at 2:01
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    @Mike "simple DB query" may not be as simple as it sounds when you consider the # of users that SE/SO currently (and growing every day) has. And, then we have to come determine a threshold too... But, I do see a value in your feature-request... I guess only SE team can clear this out. Is there another possibility of doing something with/within the "help" link next to comment box. I'm just thinking out loud. – HackerKarma Jul 28 '15 at 3:48
  • @HackerKarma Perhaps when a user is new the help box is expanded by default? You can still close it by clicking the link, and it's small enough to not be terribly obtrusive to new users. – SuperBiasedMan Jul 28 '15 at 9:58
  • @SuperBiasedMan "when a user is new..." that's what we're after. How expensive is that server request... Let's see what SE team has to say. – HackerKarma Jul 28 '15 at 10:44
  • @HackerKarma I agree that the information is there in the "help" box if the people actually use it. However in my experience, this is quite often not the case. Almost every day that I decide to be active on stackoverflow I notice someone who replies to a thread of comments (sometimes hours later) without pinging anyone and the question therefore fades into Never Never Land because nobody realizes that the OP posted a reply to their comment. Something is not working. If it happened once in a blue moon, who cares, but in my experience it happens quite frequently. – Mike Jul 30 '15 at 20:03
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    @SuperBiasedMan True. You have already got 10 upvotes (including mine) so it proves that there is an agreement with your feature-request. I hope someone really comes up with a nice solution. – HackerKarma Jul 30 '15 at 20:09

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