I have a user on a StackExchange site. He is well-intentioned, enthusiastic about the site, and his contributions to the site are improving gradually after a rough start.
His participation is mainly with edits, meta posts and comments, and comments on questions to help new users. These are all things users are encouraged to do.
Most of his participation is good or neutral, but let's say 20% of the time they are a little... off.
- Edits: Many of these are retags, about 20% of which need fixing because he adds an objectively incorrect tag. Many others are matters of editing style to match his personal preference, which is different from the style we've had on the site until now. I feel like I need to check up on all his edits after the fact, since a non-trivial portion of them need fixing.
- Comments on posts by new users, advising them on how best to use the site: Sometimes his advice is bad ("You should also post this on Workplace" without mentioning that cross posting is not allowed) or comes across condescending (unintentionally).
- Meta: He argues on and on in comments until the person he's talking to just gives up. He also wants moderators to spend a lot of time talking to him in chat to explain site policy on various matters.
All of this is behavior that is generally tolerated on our site, as long as more of a user's behavior is neutral or good (as his is). He's not malicious or in violation of site rules.
If he participated a normal amount, he'd just be an average, maybe slightly annoying, user. But he spends a LOT of time on the site. So the non-trivial minority of incorrect or annoying behavior has an outsize effect. (If you participate as much as he does on the site, you had better be 99.9% perfect or you'll have a negative impact.)
This is a huge drain on moderator time. I've easily spent more time on him than all other individuals on the site, put together.
It doesn't seem like he should be banned. He's definitely well-intentioned, and his contributions are improving (albeit slowly) - 20% bad edits is a lot better than what he used to be.
I also can't ignore him - the minority of bad contributions need correcting, or they'll have a negative impact on the site.
I don't think it would be possible to tell him (tactfully) that he should spend about 500% less time on the site. Historically, he has taken criticism very, very, badly.
As a moderator, what can I do to reduce the degree to which this user consumes moderator resources, without letting him have a negative impact on the site?