Often I find the comments to questions and/or answers as interesting as the question or answer. It doesn't appear that the "time" of post is updated unless it is an edit to the original question, or a new answer is posted. The status just indicates "edited (with some time specified)" and "asked (some time specified)".

Would it be too difficult to add "commented (some time specified)" to the forum(s) so that comments could be tracked as well as new answers?


Still no comments and I wanted to follow the follwing thread Why did the 2011 moderator elections not represent a good voting rate? but comments don't reflect the real time changes to the content. Are Comments to a thread not as important as an Answer?

  • When I hover over what currently says "5 hours ago" I see a tooltip of what I assume to be the UTC time of the comment. Maybe just adjusting this to the users local time would make sense. I don't recall entering a timezone in my profile though. Commented May 11, 2011 at 13:27
  • Kirk The time posted is for the last edit to the thread or the last time someone posted an answer. Comments, their time of post and the person posting it are completely ignored. I would be interested in the time-person notation on the thread to consider not only edits and answers but when a new comment is posted. As an example, I didn't see your comment until I opened up the thread again to see if any comments had been left ... and sure enough ... there you were.
    – user681
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 20:25

2 Answers 2


Generally speaking, comments are designed to engage with conversation on the answer or question: if you participate, then you'll get notifications as if you'd answered the question. I think that the setup is fairly good as-is, but I see your point that it might be handy. It seems like a case of a good idea which is helpful some of the time, but adds complexity which might not be worth the additional effort.

  • @SCW...strange, I got no notification of even this answer (must be a setup thing), but more importantly, if you had provided a comment instead of an answer, I never would have known. I have not had any comments as to whether the complexity would indeed be increased since it appears the mechanism exists to post notices when answers or edits are done. It is strange that only edits and answers envoke the time flag but not comments...which I indicated, were often more useful than the others.
    – user681
    Commented May 11, 2011 at 7:46

I see Comments as being transitory and hence have never been concerned about whether they are time-stamped.

To me it is the potential for ongoing improvement of every Question and Answer that makes Stack Exchange sites so appealing.

There is an excellent Answer provided by @RobertCartaino to this Question but, in a nutshell, the Comments are there purely to help clarify the Question or its Answer(s), and once that has been done any useful information in them should be moved (via edit) into the Question or its Answer(s).

At that point a Comment's usefulness expires, and it is often best deleted (which only the Comment author can easily do) to avoid distracting readers.

  • 1
    But comments are time-stamped: you can see that in the comments to this very question. I believe the issue raised by Dan Patterson is that posting a comment does not change the time of most recent change to the thread, the way posting a new answer or editing the question would. That means new comments might be overlooked. What Dan did not note, however, is that the owner of a question is notified automatically of any new comment anywhere in the thread and the owner of an answer is notified of any new comment to that answer.
    – whuber
    Commented Oct 2, 2013 at 17:01

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