It would be really useful if people who down voted could say why they did so. Even better, add a hint as to how they would improve the question. Since the site is in beta, some questions/answers may well be outside of what the down voter thinks is appropriate but unless they tell us so, we cannot improve.
Since then, I have come to view the above as naive. Clearly, I was not jaded enough. After doing just what I suggested, about half my comments were plainly ignored while about the other half resulted in abuse. In the middle, maybe one or two comments did help… However, they were not worth the torrent of abuse.