Yeah, it's a bit long, apologies. But I feel it is worth bringing up.
Many questions are actually troubleshooting questions. You may try to answer them to unblock the concerned who stuck, but number of possible causes, which mean many degrees of freedom... so sometimes you can only guess. Also about skills of the asking person (sign me up). Definitely nothing to complain about, there is learning curve and its laws. But these guess-answers will often lead to:
- opening an discussion in comments, not very promising because of limited and not-so-interactive nature of comments,
- abandoning the question by disheartened user, who may find it too hard, misleading, or even not answering the question.
Should we propose a chat to discuss doubts and do troubleshooting, when comments start growing? Is it accepted practice in the process? Is it good in your opinion?
Troubleshooting is very specific and rather short-living discussion. What chat room to use the best? I suppose that creating new room for each issue should be avoided. So far I could not learn the real nature of Public 3D Printing Room (yet?), but to me it seems proper for higher-level subjects (of some wider use, for community, etc.).
So maybe it would be better to have a separate chat(s) for ad hoc troubleshooting. Maybe to revitalize The Hotbed for such purpose? This name even sounds appropriate for all the urgency and surgery ;)
If the question contents sounds more like panic button press, rather than effect of understanding to the reasonable limits with conscious research, should we propose switching to chat immediately instead of throwing hints and discouraging prompts? I am aware that few of us is going to assist for longer period, but still it more transparent and better then in comments, and there is a change for more people to join in and even take over the subject. Great chance to mix skills and specialities, instead of trying to offer half-answers.
More interactive approach would lead to more successful answers. This will help growing this community by having more users coming back, with increasing awareness - I suppose this is key factor. It's easier to summarize results of colloquial chat as a question improvement or as an answer, than write literary paragraph with all possibly important details (and then you have to read all of it back and forth). It would be also more convenient to remind of accepting answers or even voting due to gratitude - which made in comments seems to have an opposite effect (sometimes like admonishing; lifeless automated reminders work much better for such reasons).