From the description of the "comment everywhere" privilege:
When should I comment?
You should submit a comment if you want to:
- Request clarification from the author;
- Leave constructive criticism that guides the author in improving the post;
- Add relevant but minor or transient information to a post (e.g. a link to a related question, or an alert to the author that the question has been updated).
Another common use of comments on Mi Yodeya is, as Yishai and Monica Cellio noted in comments on this answer,
unsourced answers and link-only answers… Offering a lead for prospective answers ("$source has something to say about this" etc)…. If somebody turns them into an answer those comments then become obsolete.
Continuing the quotation from the privilege description:
When shouldn't I comment?
Comments are not recommended for any of the following:
- Suggesting corrections that don't fundamentally change the meaning of the post; instead, make or suggest an edit;
- Answering a question or providing an alternate solution to an existing answer; instead, post an actual answer (or edit to expand an existing one);
- Compliments which do not add new information ("+1, great answer!"); instead, up-vote it and pay it forward;
- Criticisms which do not add anything constructive ("-1, see previous comments you scallywag!"); instead, down-vote (and provide or up-vote a better answer if appropriate);
- Secondary discussion or debating a controversial point; please use chat instead;
- Discussion of community behavior or site policies; please use meta instead.
I will frequently delete comments that stray from the above guidelines, especially if there are many comments on a single page or some have strayed far from the guidelines.
I will also delete comments that were posted to request clarification from the post author or leave constructive criticism, but which have already been acted on (so the post was edited in light of them) and are obsolete. That's the whole point of that kind of comment: to improve the post. The post should be edited to account for the comment, and then the comment can be deleted — and should be, to reduce clutter. As slhck wrote:
Imagine you're a random visitor from a search engine. Would you want the interesting/helpful stuff to stay somewhere buried in the comments?
(That's why I've deleted the aforementioned comments of Yishai's and Monica Cellio's.)