Hi. I'm not sure if this is the right place for this or if it has been discussed before, if not/so then please remove this and I apologize! Otherwise...
This may sound slightly nuts, but I'm starting to wonder if there should be a limit on how many posts a person can put in one thread.
Often, the quality of posts seems to deteriorate once posters continually repost to clarify what they were saying. I'm not against clarification per se, but frequently these interactions appear to develop into arguments between two people, with the occasional attempts to pacify from third parties. Thus, we lose the whole point of the thread, and IMHO (and personal experience) other posters do not feel comfortable posting to address the original question as the thread has turned into an argument between two parties instead. It's not the the posters are going off-topic, but they're continually re-posting and repeating themselves in an effort to clarify and defend themself against perceived attack.
For example, current threads sometimes go like this:
OP: There's an anthill in my yard, is it bad manners to remove it?
P2: Oh no, I feel for you, what a hard decision. I would remove the anthill
P3: I also feel for you, I once had an anthill and it happened like this, but the X got it
P4: Emily Post says this. Miss Manners says that. I would do supercalafrajalistic.
P5: Ants live in anthills but bulldogs live in doghouses
B: How can you say bulldogs live in anthills? I'm horrified!
P5: I actually never said that, re-read my post, it says ants live in anthills, bulldogs live in doghouses
B: Yes but you're talking about anthills and you're talking about bulldogs, so that implies that cats like candy
P5: Where did I ever imply that cats like candy? Ants live in anthills, bulls live in bulldogs, etc.
B: Re-read my post, I never said you thought cats like candy, anthills, bulldogs, yadeyadeyada.
(meanwhile, other posters cower in fear and avoid posting, not wanting to get involved in the ongoing dispute)
I'm not sure if anybody else here gets what I'm talking about, but I feel this way a lot when I read existing threads, and by the time I read through I reconsider my decision to post in response to the issue at hand, preferring not to get involved in the "situation" that's developed. It seems to kill threads and thus reduce the productivity of discussions. People get so caught up in attack/defense positions that it's awkward for everybody else, and usually they're just repeating themselves. How many different things can one poster have to say about the same topic?
Edited to add: I realise that if I don't like it then I don't have to participate. I love Ehell - it's been part of my life for the past six years (before the forum started I believe) and although I haven't always been active, I know I'll always be interested in what's discussed here. It's nice being part of a productive forum that actually cares about people and the way we treat each other, and helps us gain perspective on our own behaviour. So this isn't intended as a criticism, it's just something I've observed time and time again, and because I love Ehell I wanted to mention it as a possible area of improvement. :-)