6

Take this question for example. It's a good question, but there's no definitive answer without going through some of the initial troubleshooting steps I point out in my comments in order to isolate the problem.

We are encouraged only to answer questions in our replies, rather than respond with speculations as to the problem - but in this case, and in many cases, isolating the problem using the comment section is crucial to actually delivering an answer. Should there not be a "reward?"

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    For this specific question one option you have is to go back and add an answer based on the comments to offer all troubleshooting tips together. – nohillside May 21 '14 at 16:42
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    If this is a feature request, can you make it more like a feature request? I.e. rather than asking why they don't provide reputation, say why you think they should provide reputation. I've removed the feature-request tag for now. Also, see this Meta.SE post: Reputation for comments? – grg May 21 '14 at 20:37
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    @grgarside perfectly reasonable. i've marked as answered. stuffe's response was on point, and patrix made a great point about answering the question after the fact. Thanks. – njboot May 21 '14 at 20:41
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Because comments are transitory, and should be used to indicate clarification etc. An upvote on a comment is further evidence to the OP that it's a good one that may allow them to amend their question/answer. If that results in an improvement etc, then the vote should be applied to the question/answer (if that's not already been done), not the comment, which should then be removed.

Essentially, comments are post it notes. In the ideal world, they all get binned once they have served their purpose to further the efforts to improve a contribution. Comments can spill over into chat if too many are created, and as such it's just like starring a chat comment - it signifies it adds something, but it isn't a formal part of the q or a.

On extremely busy posts, votes push up the best comments while the rest are hidden from view, so votes on comments aren't in the same rep giving class as actual posts.

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    Also worth noting that you cannot downvote a comment, just like you can't dislike a comment on Facebook, or anti-favourite a tweet etc. Think of up votes on comments more as likes or favourites, just a little something to let the poster know it was well received without people competing to get rep through them which would probably result in an increase of crap ones – stuffe May 22 '14 at 10:59

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