4

Yes, this is Meta but, ironically (or not), I also don't have the reputation to ask a question in Meta either.

I've only been here two days and have seen several comments admonishing posters and answers voted down for "should be a comment". The ability to comment requires 50 reputation points, which is fine, but if you don't have sufficient reputation to comment there is no indication that it is even an option. If posters are going to be voted down for answering instead of commenting when they can't comment, would it make more sense to put a tag where the "comment" link would normally be saying that you don't have enough privilege to comment yet?

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  • I think that adding the link is a good idea. I also think that instead of allowing anyone to sign up and ask/answer, they need to read the FAQ first, and then they can go to ask and answer questions. A sort of mandatory EULA unlock or something? – Larian LeQuella Apr 1 '11 at 17:14
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    "don't have the reputation to ask a question in Meta"?? You only need 5 rep! That's one question up-vote or 1/2 answer up-vote or 2 accepted edits to another question, answer or tag wiki. – Martin Scharrer Apr 1 '11 at 19:21
5

For reference a previous answer to a related request by co-founder of StackExchange Jeff Atwood

We funnel users to the answer input box for a reason -- because the focus is on getting answers to questions, not meta-commentary. Commenting is a privilege that should be earned by providing useful answers. And 50 rep isn't much.

It's highly unlikely a random drive-by user will

  • understand our Q&A goals
  • understand our commenting system

So by the time they earn 50 rep, they should have learned roughly how things work, and be in a position to offer a useful comment and not a "+1 AWESOME ANSWER" sort of comment.

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3

If it's not an answer, it shouldn't be in the part of the page marked "answers".

Partial answers are acceptable, but random asides, commentary, meta-discussion or anything else that does not answer the question should ultimately be removed.

How you handle it should depend on the quality of the user and the non-answer. If you have reason to believe this user might be a good member of the community with a little prodding, have at it. But don't waste your time on clear drive-by users or posts of exceedingly low quality.

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