Look, I know comments are ephemeral and all that, but still… could I have a badge for this, please?!

Screenshot of epic comment

As Yakk suggests:

"Nice Post-It!" Badge needed: Comment with 5x more upvotes than votes on the post it is attached to, and at least 20 votes on the post it is attached to.

Ta :)

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    If this badge were to have been added, I'd want to see the ability to downvote comments. Dec 9 '16 at 1:55
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    @BoundaryImposition who are you, and what have you done to Lightness's profile? Were you the target of an aggressive automatic profile merge? Mar 15 '17 at 21:10
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    @FélixGagnon-Grenier: Told you nothing could go wrong! ;) Mar 16 '17 at 0:25

Not surprisingly, I think this is a good idea.

I think it is fun, harmless, and even beneficial.

The bar I sketched -- 5x more upvotes than the attached content has votes, and at least 20 votes on the attached content -- is probably too high a bar.

It uses votes on the attached content (not upvotes), which makes it work well on both horrible and good content.

The multiplier means that people reading the content found the comment far more interesting than they found the attached content. The threshold requires that the source content be interesting, so worth comparing with. A multiplier instead of an absolute threshold prevents over-popular attached content from making this too easy.

On second thought, a 4x threshold and at least 10 votes on the attached content (question or answer) would probably make it reasonably rare. Really, it should depend on how rare such an event is, to keep it from being either an impossible or overly-easy achievement.

The name of it -- "Nice Post-It!" -- refers to the fact that comments are "post-its" in the antediluvian meta thread defining "How do comments work".

As comments are indeed second class content, making it a tier lower than its rareness would indicate is probably good. Ie, make it a silver badge (if tuned to be very rare), or a bronze badge (if tuned to be moderately rare). By avoiding making it a gold badge, we should prevent badge-chasers from being a problem. Note that we already have a number of comment badges, such as pundit (get 5 comments voted up to +5).

It is fun, because learning that your comment got way more attention than the thing it is attached to is a moment of awesome.

It is harmless, because if set to a modest level (silver, say), only the quirkiest badge-hunters will go for it. And as it requires coordination of dozens of hundreds of independent people to give it to you, there is not much someone can do to get it.

It is marginally beneficial, in that it gives a very small reward to those who give comments that many people like, which makes the contributor and apparently a large percentage of those read it feel good about website visit.


Comments are second class content here - as you know comments are liable to be removed at a drop of a hat, they are ephemeral and should not be considered to have any permanence or importance.

As such - adding badges will only cause comments to be "gamed" for it and encourage more commenting rather than less.

In fact - comments like the one you have posted as an example should be flagged as too chatty and removed.

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    Well aren't you just a ray of sunshine :( May 12 '16 at 12:36
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    I don't buy your reasoning, anyway. You get a badge for filling in the "About Me" profile section, which is hardly first-class content. In fact, you get a badge just for turning up! Or for posting in chat.... I've seen this "people will abuse the game" argument so many times but never a single shred of evidence for it. May 12 '16 at 12:37
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    The badge for "About Me" is to encourage people to fill in that section... badges are for things we want to encourage. And more comments are not it.
    – Oded
    May 12 '16 at 12:56
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    Do you have any evidence to support your claim that people would suddenly start writing lots more nonsense comments than they do now on the offchance they'd get an incredibly rare quantity of upvotes on them and receive a badge? May 12 '16 at 13:11
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    By the way, I resent your assertion that my original comment was "too chatty" or, indeed, "chatty" whatsoever. It's an expression of sheer disbelief that there exists an automated process that merges people's profiles without warning, serving as what I thought was a fairly clear nudge/prod/poke to consider whether this is in any way a good idea. I wasn't just having a laugh. May 12 '16 at 13:13
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    So when are the Commentator and Pundit badges going to be removed to stop encouraging people to behave badly by posting comments and fishing for upvotes? May 12 '16 at 17:40
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    well this is just totally wrong - it's opinionated (like my comment is too) but not based on actual real life, comments are serving the purpose and have their place in the process - I'd argue that removing comments is also wrong (even though many people do it, when embarrassed of it) - it's all part of the process. Most comments don't have their place in answers, either standalone - or edited existing ones (as then those answers are going to become 'too chatty'). Comments often contain valuable info - and all taken together is forming a picture about the method or you name it.
    – NSGaga
    May 12 '16 at 18:08
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    ...and this actual comment in question by @LightnessRacesinOrbit - was a bit chatty - but is a ray of sunshine in often dull place - programmers are not computers, and not all is about info, those are little 'gems' and factually 'opinions' that make sense. Well I said it :))) cheers to all
    – NSGaga
    May 12 '16 at 18:11
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    I actually find these comments refreshing, and find that @LightnessRacesinOrbit is particularly good at providing insights and disarming tense conversations with witty truths. It's far better reading than the biting comments that many seem to find obligatory. If we're going to be turning a critical focus on commenting style, I'd say that we start with the outright hostile, rude, condescending, and patronizing comments that we see on so many posts. "Chatty" is a very minor offense to rudeness and hostility. Jun 23 '16 at 4:14

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