Can we somehow improve the experience for users, who have useful comments but can only post (non-)answers?
We regularly recommend deletion of (or delete for the top users) "answers" from new users. That is mostly fine as many are "Thank you" or "Having another question" answers. But from time to time there are answers with useful and eligible content which we categorize as "better suited as a comment". However the ever-present problem: the new users cannot comment.
Imagine being young again with no reputation: This must be quite frustrating. Getting the feedback that something is better suited as a comment but at the same time no being able to comment. I guess for important cases one could bring it to the attention of your moderators, they can convert things to comments, see related question Recommending deletion [However this system might need improvement, as I feel that only very few deleted answers are flagged for moderator attention].
But what is about the "small" cases. One example (not the best, but they are hard to find) https://tex.stackexchange.com/a/325303/36296. A new user, apparently willing to help, wants to ask for clarification. I would not want to trouble moderators with that, as other users asked for the same information shortly after. But wouldn't it be helpful if the deleting review would include a field "recommend conversion to comment" and with sufficient votes from experienced users, such cases could either be automatically converted or grant the new user the privilege to comment on this specific question?
The example above was from the "low quality review". Available options in this queue are
- No comment needed
- This is commentary on another post, not an answer
- This is a “thank you” comment
- This is an “I’m having this problem, too” comment
- This is a different question posted as an answer
- This is a link-only answer (and not spam)
so no direct opportunity to flag for moderator attention. However when the answer opens one can click on the "flag" link below the question. But this is not very intuitive, because as soon as the window with the deletion options is open, it is hidden behind it and once having clicked for deletion the queue automatically jumps to the next answer and (at least before gaining the ability to see the history) it is very hard to find an answer again.
And I admit, I also voted to recommend deletion, because it is better suited as a comment.