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Reputation for comments?

One reason so many people come to participate on StackOverflow is that they see their score go higher and higher. It is like your play an online game, such as "Angry Birds" and you want to be on the Leaderboard.

So if people can post an excellent comment, shouldn't they be award a little, maybe even 1 point, to help clarify things, or to put down a useful insight?

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    What is the incentive for getting points? – Henk Holterman Oct 30 '10 at 11:39
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    Arguably there's a disincentive for even caring if your comment is excellent since they can't be downvoted. – tvanfosson Oct 30 '10 at 15:09
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    -1; you are the first target of my new "downvote users who insist on rolling back to versions with worse grammar" policy. – Pops Dec 6 '10 at 15:20
  • @Henk you have to admit, there are very few people replying on the newsgroup, and the "point" system on StackOverflow and the points privilege is one of the big thing that people come here to participate – nonopolarity May 2 '11 at 15:11
  • wow, this is considered trolling... I guess people just label it "troll" whenever they don't like to read something – nonopolarity May 2 '11 at 15:31

Correct, no points.

So, don't post answers in a comment. Answers are, well, Answers!

You should use comments to just make comments or to help you to find out more so that you can write a good answer.

In my honest opinion, it is just good practice to tell people, if they write an answer as a comment to please write it as a answer so that they get full credit - example.

All that being said, don't use points as the driving force for being on this site, just think of them as a nice bonus!


The Pundit badge is really the only incentive for leaving excellent comments. That and the adoration of your peers, but what's that worth? Not as much as a badge or reputation. ;)

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    Does adoration even implement IComparable? Do badges, reputation, and adoration derive from a common interface that would allow us to compare them? I think we'd need to introduce an IHasValue (or ICanHazValuez, if you must) interface so that we can quantify this assertion. – tvanfosson Oct 30 '10 at 15:07
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    On a more practical level, does the adoration of ones peers even translate into groupies. I mean, that's why we do it, right? – dmckee --- ex-moderator kitten Oct 30 '10 at 18:10

I humbly submit that you're missing the point. The lack of incentive for giving good comments is intentional, not an oversight. The designers of the site want people to focus on answers and questions, not comments.

They're not incentivizing comments because they want to discourage comments. In other words, they intend for people to think of comments as having zero or little value.


Comments are not part of your rep score.

Comments are good for asking more information (to help you answer the question and get points), or for posting remarks that don't qualify as answers. If you don't feel motivated to post comments, that's just fine.

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