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What's the consensus for how many responses / comments on a given answer you should continue to reply to? After 5 or so the site says 'take it to chat' but this usually isn't viable if the parties are replying hours apart.

Case in point: I posted an answer to something that is (seemingly) easy. The OP tried something and came back with 'doesnt work'. So I suggest a modification with a suggestion on how to chase this. This continues for 2-3 more rounds and it's apparent that the OP just wants a solution and won't take ownership (despite being given numerous suggestions of things to try).

I hate to give up but this seems like wasted effort. My feeling is to delete my answer - Im betting that if I don't keep on this I will get down-voted.

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Keep following until it seems hopeless, or you don't feel like it anymore. The hopeless bar arrives sooner than most people realize. It arrives when you start answering queries that are "basic knowledge," stuff that the OP should already know. –  Robert Harvey Nov 27 '12 at 0:01
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Probably informative: Exit Strategies for chameleon questions –  Daniel Fischer Nov 27 '12 at 0:01
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Don't delete your answer! That won't help.. –  Adel Nov 27 '12 at 0:11
    
The "take it to chat" links points to a new chat room explicitly for that discussion. That means that even replies hours apart don't get lost in the noise from a lot of background chatter, so chat may be more viable than you think. –  dmckee Nov 27 '12 at 13:56
    
really good question. really hard to answer. I often find myself replying despite having given up hope that the OP would even bother to open up Google/Bing/*anything* and try themselves to tweak the answer for their precise circumstances. –  Cor_Blimey Apr 4 at 20:48
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Don't let others take advantage of you. It's always a judgement call... but a good, easy thing is to only respond once after a follow-up comment - after all, the answer was a valid response( right ? ). The burden is really on OP to understand.

If OP appears to put good effort, hey - you can be nice and help..

In your case, you said it was a 'seemingly easy' situation. Well, trust yourself!

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I agree that the pivot for following up should be whether the OP has bothered to try and implement. If they immediately just go "lolz brah, compiler error Wut", then I of course will not waste my time with such a selfish being. On the other hand, I have spend 20+ comments trying to tweak and adjust an answer for a question that was perhaps not perfectly defined after the OP has said as much. –  Cor_Blimey Apr 4 at 20:51
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