This was Nth time I got summoned to handle giant ugly devolved comment thread. So I feel some things need to be said (and discussed if anyone feels like it).
I am very glad that we get more and more actively involved users, that are happy to step in and explain things to newbs. However this can get way too intense when newbs are not quite cooperating.
This is how forums start to devolve and fall apart - when old timers have certain algorithms about "their turf" perfected to the point of knee jerk reactions.
I get where intensity comes from. I get same reactions to the same situations - I am intense rugged old timer myself here. :) However there is that diamond thing next to my name that inclines me to shut it and think how it reflects on us as site and community.
So I'd like to propose a simple rule, let's call it rule of third comment:
- Feel free to point out issues with question/answer in your first comment.
- If it's not going well - politely point to meta (and optionally chat) in your second comment.
- There should never be third comment.
If you feel like writing a third comment - step away from the thread, ping moderator (if it looks serious enough) and take a walk.
These are situations for which mod position exist:
- our position pressures us to work to defuse situation rather than pour oil on it
- we are empowered to actually do something about it - from enforcing rules to making things (and people) disappear
Third comment is a point where mod should be involved instead of comment. Twentieth comment is too late and much more messy than it needs to be.