Being the new guy on the block, I was kind of surprised by the amount of comments we delete. Not that any of them would be rude or inappropriate, but many of them are simply not "comments" at all.
We probably all know how comments work in theory, but in practice I guess we all forget sometimes and post a comment that should not have been a comment.
Comments are for, and should be used to:
- Request clarification from the author
- Leave constructive criticism that guides the author in improving the post
- Add relevant but minor or transient information to a post (e.g. a link to a related question).
As a general guideline, before posting a comment, maybe ask yourself "what action could the person whose post I comment on take, to make my comment obsolete?"
- If you asked for a country tag, they could add a country tag.
- If you asked to give the people in the post names like Alice and Bob to make reading it easier, they could do so.
- If you added a link and said "But courts have ruled differently just last year", they could read it and then ammend and improve their answer with this new information.
But if your comment has nothing actionable for the commented on post to do, then it isn't a comment.
Some of those comments I deleted were quite long and had solid information. Please don't try to save 30 seconds by writing a comment instead of an answer. It's like fast food. You feel full for a moment, but in the long run, you will be hungry again sooner than you expect. You saved a little bit of time, but your comment only lasted for a few hours. Create an answer. That will have lasting impact.
A real answer can also generate you those tasty green internet points, that comments don't get. Just sayin' :)