Imagine I look at a question and have a remark about someone's answer, or just want some clarification about it. I naturally want to leave a comment. But being under reputation 50, I can't.

Plus, that kind of remark does not belong to the frame of answers. (Especially if you're not sure about what you're saying and want confirmation.)

Is there any way to make that kind of participation being under 50 in reputation ?

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Apart from trying to get more reputation through asking, answering, or editing, you can't post a comment. There are people whose "answers" are turned into comments by the mods, but I do not recommend this route. However, if the post you wish to comment on is an answer to your question, then you can comment even if you don't have 50 rep. –  J. M. Apr 25 '13 at 12:51
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Ok, thank you. I think it's a pitty, beginners are more inclined to post remarks than complete answers, notably about subject they do not master. (Well, it's true that 50 is not that hard to gain.) –  Pece Apr 25 '13 at 13:21
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Just think what the Batman question thread would look like, if all those visitors from reddit had commented on it. –  Jyrki Lahtonen Apr 28 '13 at 17:10
    
Draft of a comment: meta.math.stackexchange.com/questions/9203/…. Tried out @Thisismuchhealthier's trick, and it works! –  Sanath Devalapurkar Jul 3 at 22:19
    
@SanathDevalapurkar This isn't conclusive evidence because you actually have 50 rep points. But it works even if you log out and post as a new user. I also find it curious that the thread got bumped, despite no new answer being posted. Hmm. More potential for abuse... –  900 sit-ups a day Jul 3 at 22:22
    
@Thisismuchhealthier. Yes, but it said "Trivial answer converted to comment", showing the validity of your (sneaky and clever) method. –  Sanath Devalapurkar Jul 3 at 22:23
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@SanathDevalapurkar Thanks. Because I wondered about bumping, I did this trick in another thread and it didn't get bumped. Perhaps your first attempt was unsuccessful and got posted as an answer, which you deleted? –  900 sit-ups a day Jul 4 at 0:08
    
@Thisismuchhealthier. Yeah - precisely! Then, I redid it and it was sucesseful. –  Sanath Devalapurkar Jul 4 at 0:31

2 Answers 2

The answer is: don't.

There's a reason that the software has a built-in check for minimum reputation before allowing one to post comments, and it is not nice to try to circumvent that.

  • If you only have a tangential remark, ask yourself whether it really need to be posted.
  • If you only have a partial answer, or an answer which you are not 100% certain is correct: you should post it. Because
    1. This is how we earn reputation points, which will allow you to eventually comment!
    2. What's the worst that can happen? Maybe you are wrong and someone points it out to you and downvotes your answer. You are allowed to delete the answer, which will refund the reputation loss and also possibly earn you a badge.

We already have an overabundance of answers hiding in comments. If you have something pertinent to the question, you should not be afraid to post it as an answer. (On the other hand, if what you want to say is only tangentially related, see first bullet point above.)

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I agree with the points made by Willie Wong. But there are cases when a tangential remark is useful: e.g., "This question has been cross-posted to [another site]". Some questions need clarification: "What concept of integral (Riemann, Lebesgue) do you use?".

At the time of writing, there is a workaround which allows everyone to comment on questions. This is subject to change, as the SE team is considering closing this loophole: see "Trivial answer converted to comment" should not bypass the 50-rep restriction

  1. Copy a link to another Math.SE or meta.Math.SE question. In order to not pollute the Linked sidebar, it is best to use a link that is already present in this sidebar. If there are no linked posts, use a link to a Meta question, such as this one.

  2. Paste it into the answer box. Add a couple of words (not many!), for example "Draft of a comment". stage1

  3. Submit your "answer". The system will not post it as an answer, but as a comment: look for it under the question. stage2
  4. Edit the comment to say what you wanted to say. You have 5 minutes for editing. (Of course you can prepare the text in advance and copy-paste it.) stage3

On the main site this works even if you are an unregistered user with 1 reputation point, such as "user153296" above. On the meta site, one needs to be able to post answers (5 rep).

To avoid mishaps, one can try this in a sandbox first.

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One minor disadvantage: This will show the link you entered for some time among linked questions. (I am not sure how fast the linked questions are updated, my experience is that a link which was added in a comment, which was subsequently deleted, stays there for a while.) Maybe link to a meta thread (like this one) would work as well, but without this side-effect? –  Martin Sleziak Jul 4 at 5:07
    
@MartinSleziak Good point. I updated the answer. –  900 sit-ups a day Jul 4 at 5:23

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