That is, when should thanks be given, and how should that Thank You look?
At what point should questions or answers inspired by another user's question, answer, or comment be attributed to that user in the question or answer?
This answer was modified because of other users' comments, and the poster was polite enough to thank the commentators, one of whom was me, in his answer. It wasn't necessary the user thank me--my comment wasn't an innovation or opinion but merely noted a relevant yet omitted fact, suitable for expanding the answer but offering nothing more research would've yielded. Was that thanks appropriate and expected?
The final section of my answer here was added completely at the behest of a commentator who believed the information important enough to comment twice even though I didn't initially think it'd be a thing. Turned out it kind of was a thing; should I thank the commentator for inspiring that section of the answer?
What should a Thank You look like?
Several times recently I've seen thanks given by linking to the user's profile, which seems a bit weird, but considering that--so far as I can tell--linking to a specific answer requires entering keywords from that answer into the search bar to find the answer's URL and linking to that, and that there's no way to read the deleted comment inspired a question or answer, I don't know how else to properly and readily thank innovation, inspiration, or opinion.
When using **@***username* in a question or answer, does that do anything besides look silly? Is there a method for searching for those? I've thanked another user by employing that method myself here instead of profile-linking, but I don't know if that just makes me look silly and does nothing.
The role-playing game community is quite incestuous already so thanking folks for every little thing is obviously too much, but it's also militant about giving credit where credit's due. When and how should thanks be given?