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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.

So:

  1. 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?

  2. 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 ;)

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

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    $\begingroup$ There's one flaw: new users with less than some reputation can't access chat, even if invited. $\endgroup$ – Trish Feb 2 at 8:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Trish - yeah, that's really annoying. $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Feb 18 at 15:13
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Moving discussions to chat is automatically suggested when the amount of comments is becoming too high. This is a separate chat between the discussing users, but not limited, I've entered many of those rooms later to pitch in. The generic Public 3D Printing Room can be used for any 3D related problem, discussion or a friendly hang-out chat.

Chat requires a 20 reputation. Hence the voting is key, this is what is killing us, too less people feel the urge to put in a vote. Currently we have only 15 users that have voted more than 500 times. Special badges (Moderation Badges) are to be earned, e.g.

  • [Civic Duty] -> Vote 300 or more times (awarded only 18 times to date!)
  • [Electorate] -> Vote on 600 questions and 25% or more of total votes are on questions (awarded only 7 times to date!)
  • [Vox Populi] -> Use the maximum 40 votes in a day (awarded only 29 times to date!)

If the question is from a new user and half decent we should vote up to reward the question so that the user is able to enter the chat. Similar for answers, I've seen answers that are good but still not receive the votes and attention the answer should receive. Voting doesn't cost anything. If you don't agree with an answer, you could also withhold your vote and only down vote if something is completely wrong.

I know that various members are already trying to limit the amount of comments and invite people to discuss further in chat. Please continue to do so, this may lead to updating the question and the answer!

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  • $\begingroup$ There's also the Suffrage badge (which you usually get whilst getting the Vox Populi badge), for 30 votes in a day. $\endgroup$ – Greenonline Feb 7 at 3:54

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