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I have found myself in a position where I posted quite an elaborated answer, but got no notice from the OP. Let's say the question remains open and no comments from the OP.

Sometimes I feel prone to at least comment on some answers whenever I post a question - even if any of those I choose as accepted answer - merely because I see the user has put a lot of effort on it and may be even clarified some aspects of the question but not completely.

It would be nice to have a way to implement that, assuming comments are not supposed to be used with this aim.

Example of question where I received zero feedback from OP here (belongs to astronomy.stackexchange.com)

Example of an answer I felt the need to provide feedback as OP, because of the amount of work the user put into it, despite me not choosing it as the accepted answer here

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  • $\begingroup$ Is this a rant or is there a question hidden there? $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos May 23 '14 at 16:51
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    $\begingroup$ This is not a rant. This is not a question. It could fall into the category of feature request or or meta-discussion topic. As it states in the question field when you open up a question: "What's your bug, feature request, or meta-discussion topic." $\endgroup$ – harogaston May 23 '14 at 16:54
  • $\begingroup$ Comments are meant to do what you propose. See the When should I comment section of this help page $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos May 23 '14 at 17:03
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    $\begingroup$ Well when read that page, just under When shouldn't I comment? one of the points is "Compliments which do not add new information". I think that goes in the exact opposite direction of my intentions. $\endgroup$ – harogaston May 23 '14 at 17:08
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    $\begingroup$ So then you have your answer. What you propose would just clutter the site with useless comments. $\endgroup$ – Kyle Kanos May 23 '14 at 17:15
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I like it when the OP comments to my answer to say thanks. Even though it's not the main aim of this site I see teaching as an important by product, and it's nice when you get a comment saying thanks, now I understand or words to that effect. Without such feedback it's hard to know how clear your answer is (my answers always make sense to me, but I suspect not always to anyone else :-).

As David says, we're a fairly civilised lot hereabouts and I don't think the mild abuse of the comments system does any harm.

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The hard truth is that sometimes you can't expect to get any praise, gratitude, or even feedback from the OP. In our Q&A format, all that the site really needs is that a question is asked and an answer is given. Everything else is just added bonuses.

An important thing to remember in those circumstances is that your answer is not meant only to help the OP, but to help everybody asking the same question, especially googlers. It may be tough when the OP does not recognize that you put effort into answering, but I can tell you that the rest of us at Physics.SE appreciate you taking the time to be thorough and accurate. And if your answer is decent, take comfort that it will probably be enjoyed by the community and rewarded with upvotes.

We cannot and would not institute a forced feedback system. There is nothing anyone can do to force an asked to give feedback. Regardless what is implemented, it will always be possible for someone to post a question and then never log in to the site again. Furthermore, how can we define what is a decent answer? If someone posts a good question and the first and/or only answer they get is a drive-by crackpot answer, then how can we force them to give feedback when they might just want to ignore it? Or if an answer is really kind of meh but there's no way you know to make it better, what would you force someone to say?

"Hey, thanks for answering but this isn't a great answer and I doubt you can make it better"

No, that would be terrible for so many reasons.

So while the rest of us appreciate and applaud your time and effort in posting the elaborate answers, feedback from the OP is one of those things you can't always expect to get nor can it be forced out of them. Just smile, be happy when you get feedback, and remember that you write such great answers not just for the OP but for the whole community. And some other nonsense about a good deed being its own reward.

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It would be nice to have a way to implement that, assuming comments are not supposed to be used with this aim.

Upvoting. That's literally exactly what upvoting is for.

In practice, even though it says that comments are not supposed to be used to leave compliments, we don't really care that much if you do. After all, we don't have a huge volume of comments on this site, the way they do on e.g. Stack Overflow, so usually having a complimentary comment or two doesn't get in the way much. Just be aware that comments are transient, so your comment may wind up being deleted after a little while. (In fact, good etiquette would be to come back and delete it yourself, if you are able to establish that the OP has probably read it, or is not going to read it.)

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I'm not sure what you expect people to say. Drive-by askers happen. You take that risk when you write the answer.

You can expect to accumulate some love from the greater community over time, but how much depends on the quality of the question as well as the quality of the answer.

All requests to install a feature allowing you to bug people have been firmly and correctly shot down and will not be acted upon.

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    $\begingroup$ At any point I meant a "feature that would allow me to bug people" as you mention. As I see it, providing feedback is quite the opposite. $\endgroup$ – harogaston May 23 '14 at 17:44
  • $\begingroup$ That wasn't aimed at you in particular, it's just that it comes up when people start discussing this kind of situation. $\endgroup$ – dmckee May 23 '14 at 17:46

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