Why don't we give reputation for upvoting comments? I don't know what else to say. It seems like, just like the answer, they often give valuable insights that just don't accomplish the task from start-to-finish, but it seems like they might still deserve something. Thoughts?
Reputation for comments? has status-declined. And I agree with the decision, because comments are, by design, merely incidental to the question. I quote three top-voted comments on this site, all time:
- This is simultaneously wonderful and sad. Wonderful for the student who was level-headed enough to answer this question correctly, and sad that this teacher's mistake could be representative of the quality of elementary school math education.
- Only for very large values of $\pi$
- It would be deliciously ironic if this got closed for not being a real question.
Now, there are also comments that are in fact answers. This is not a desired state of things: answers should be presented as such. (One of reasons is that a comment-answered question appears to be unanswered and cannot be a target for duplicate.) The issue is somewhat complex due to hints and tentative answers on unclear questions, and it was discussed many times on this meta. See http://meta.math.stackexchange.com/q/16620/ for example. Awarding reputation for comment-answers would make the problem worse than it already is.