0

Sometimes suggestions from comments get incorporated into the accepted answer. In such scenario it is common to mention the commenter who provided some useful input. Usually such mention is in a form "as @nickname suggested" or "from @joes answer" etc. Could that be a good idea to add a new functionality to the Stack Overflow engine to credit those who have provided some useful input to your answer?

I was thinking along the lines of allowing you to choose the from the names of the commenters in a way you choose from tags, and then displaying the selected names somewhere under the answer as we already display the name of the answer author and the name of the last person who edited it.

Imagining even further I can envision Stack Overflow giving some reputation points to the contributors, maybe deducting from the original author or just giving some extra points. Maybe like 1 point for 5 upvotes or something along those lines. Those are just random numbers of course, you need to carefully think how much reputation the contributors should receive if this idea ever gains anyone's attention.

I think this form of a contribution from comments (or other answers) is a great part of the Stack Overflow society already. Think about it, if a commenter knows that his comment might be referred in the answer with a possible reputation gain, this might motivate people to give better comments.

Also the author filtering out only those comments that he thinks have really contributed to make the answer better is another way to praise the commenter than the already existing comment upvote button very useful by the way. Thinking about it, I even imaging the original author of the accepted answer selecting the particular comment and then this comment being marked with a special icon or other outstanding visuals so that the audience can see the good comment and also, which I think is important, seeing such contributions marked can be a good model for the audience to follow and provide better comments.

Also thinking even more about it I can think of authors whose answers are not accepted but are linked as contributions to the accepted answer motivating many discouraged people who want to contribute but do not get many answers accepted due to competition. Of course they should have commented instead, but we know that too many posts become answers because of competition rather than becoming comments. This is a nature of a competition versus collaboration model we have here which is exciting. I think that both competition and collaboration can win here.

  • 1
    The idea itself is good and indeed will encourage good comments. However, comments are considered a very minor thing, and should never give any reputation. Giving credit in the current form is kind of enough. – Shadow Wizard is Ear For You Sep 25 '17 at 11:32
  • 3
    To gain rep users should answer questions rather than comment on them. Anything that adds additional importance to comments seems counter to focused Q&A. – PolyGeo Sep 25 '17 at 11:41
2

Comments are by nature transient - I often do credit useful additional comments in my answers organically, and I often drop in additional information where I don't have enough to add for a new answer, but it compliments the existing answer.

It's worth considering the motivation for good comments is intrinsic - we want to get better questions and more well rounded answers. Your proposal would convert that to extrinsic motivation.

The problem here is it makes comments a first-class citizen, when it has never has been.

There are a few fundamental things in your proposal that also kind of aren't quite conventional thinking here

Imagining even further I can envision Stack Overflow giving some reputation points to the contributors, maybe deducting from the original author or just giving some extra points

This sounds a lot like splitting reputation for an answer - which isn't done. You'd almost certainly have a few people badgering, and begging others for credit.

Also thinking even more about it I can think of authors whose answers are not accepted but are linked as contributions to the accepted answer motivating many discouraged people who want to contribute but do not get many answers accepted due to competition.

Isn't that much of on an issue on most sites - and one can always build and post better answers. I do appreciate good comments both complimentary and critical, and I make them - but I've never seen them as an alternative to an answer. If I comment it's cause "this can be just a little better" - helping folk as a whole. I don't know how cutthroat on Stack Overflow, but it's relatively rare.

As such I don't think the problem this 'tries' to solve exists.

|improve this answer|||||

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .