Sometimes the comments under either the question or the answer are the more valuable information. That is, an answer might be just satisfactory, but it's really the comments, and their additional information that proves to be the most helpful. Therefore, why not provide a means of acknowledging this?


Originally intended to put this additional question/observation in the comments, but following-up on the answers, here, attempting to set a good example, I'll also incorporate it into the question. Afterall, I've lost all my accumulated reputation by just asking this one question, so it can't go any lower ...


This is a different site, of course, and I've not yet figured out how to ask a process question on the BH site, but under their "Help Center" info on privileges and reputation, there's a statement that appears to indicate that one can receive a positive point on for a good comment" ...."When should I vote up? Whenever you encounter a question, answer or … a comment that you feel is especially useful, vote it up!"

Apparently, they accomplish this by "flagging" the comment as positive.


Here's some more information, from that other site that allows for "comments" to be voted on:

Privilege: comment everywhere - Leave comments on other people's posts What are comments? Comments are temporary "Post-It" notes left on a question or answer. They can be up-voted (but not down-voted) and flagged, but do not generate reputation. There's no revision … privilege. How do I comment? Click the add a comment link under each post. Comments cannot be multi-line, so simply press enter to submit your comment. Note that comments support a small subset of …

  • I feel a critical thing that many people miss is that "SE" isn't a forum with reputation - its a fundamentally different beast. The value isn't in the discussion. it is in the Q&A – Journeyman Geek Dec 18 '17 at 1:17

Comments are meant to be temporary; the way to ensure that information persists is to put it into a question or answer. When I see useful information (like clarifications from the author) in the comments, I'll go ahead and edit them into the post. If I as the author of a post receive a particularly insightful comment, one that provides additional information or suggests another approach, I'll edit that in and credit the author of the comment. By editing, we help promote the important information from behind the "8 more comments" wall to the post itself where it'll be seen.

If somebody provides an answer in comments, then if the person is new I'll suggest he turn it into an answer. If the person knows better and somebody else writes an answer with the same information, well, the first person lost out on some rep by not answering himself. So long as you're careful to avoid plagiarizing, everything I've described here is within SE rules. Crediting a commenter is polite but not strictly required if you don't use his words.

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  • The comment still has to answer the question. Not all comments are answers and even the ones that are answers usually aren't good answers due to length. Don't use the answer space for things that are not answers. – Monica Cellio Dec 18 '17 at 22:30
  • If a comment answers a question it should be submitted as an answer and then deleted. If nobody is willing to do to submit the comment as an answer then it should be deleted. – Ramhound Dec 18 '17 at 23:12
  • @robin I won’t feel bad about issuing a vote on a feature suggestion that I do not agree with. I also shouldn’t be singled out for doing so. More than 13 people didn’t agree with your suggestion, I say more than 13, because people did agree with your suggestion. Since when was closing a question as a duplicate action that wasn’t nice? Now your taking a review actions personally. It seems you need more time to understand how SE websites work, reviewers exist, closing your question as a duplicate isn’t personal to you. – Ramhound Dec 18 '17 at 23:22

Comments do not have the features necessary to vet or edit whatever someone might say there, so (pragmatically speaking) there's no way for the system to know when to award reputation when 'this answer is useful'.

But comments are not for answers; answers are for answers.

Comments are used to request clarification or to suggest improvements to the post. But any information placed in comments should be acted upon by considering it and (potentially) editing it into the post itself. If you have a markedly better information to provide (deserving reputation), you should post it as an answer.

But comments should never be used to host useful information. Comments were never meant to "continue the answer in comments…" where the complete answer is finally arrived at near the bottom of page 11. Comments were meant to hold temporary information, and then removed. Letting the best information rise to the top — without reading though a lot of supplementary material and addenda — is at the core of how Stack Exchange was designed.

None of these issues bode well for awarding reputation for comments.

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    @robin Down-votes on a feature suggestion indicates disagreement with the premise, nothing more. – Robert Cartaino Dec 18 '17 at 1:41
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    @robin You need to understand, people might not agree with your idea, and they don’t have to explain their reasons. Just like the people who agree with your suggestion do not have to explain their reasons for likening it. If people not agreeing with you discourages you then there is nothing anyone can say to change that fact, disagreement, isn’t and shouldn’t be taken as discouragement – Ramhound Dec 18 '17 at 3:41
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    @robin I'm not going to continue engaging here if you're just going to delete your comment(s). I stand by my post as-is. – Robert Cartaino Dec 18 '17 at 23:18

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