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What's my motivation?

So with all the changes in how points are awarded, distributed, even counted I'm starting to wonder why I should bother participating any longer. Other than a nice T-shirt every once in a while what do I really gain by being a part of this community?

I'm not asking this question to stir up dirt. I'm genuinely interested in what people have to say. What keeps you around?
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Rank: Sage

Author Comment

Russ Suter2016-12-05 07:38 AMID: 1953625
Taking some advice on here. I'm taking this month off from answering questions. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. I'll see you in 2017. :)
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Rank: Sage

Expert Comment

jmcg2016-12-05 04:08 PMID: 1953754
My own history with question answering sites extends back to Compuserve days in the late 80s. My motivation has always been a desire to help people with what I've learned and the opportunities answering other people's questions has provided to stimulate me to learn new stuff. Sometimes that's just a web search, sometimes it's looking something up in a book, and sometimes it involves experimentation with sample code and sample data or digging into the source code of some open source project.

Neither point gaming nor excessively twisting the system to support commercial goals for the site provider play a part of my motivation. I don't mind a bit of friendly competition, but "gamification" is not something I like. As the rules change, I sometimes find that I am no longer able to support a site by answering questions on it, which may be happening here at EE. We'll see how things go under the new rules.
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Rank: Genius

Expert Comment

I hate to admit it, but my history goes back to my palm pilot days.  I used to answer questions on launcherxplanet.com back in the late 80's also.
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Rank: Ace

Expert Comment

Palm V - HP Omnibook 600 - those were the times ;)
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Rank: Ace

Expert Comment

ste5an2016-12-06 03:54 AMID: 1953833
History: Fido-net, '91.. :)
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Rank: Master

Expert Comment

Craig Kehler2016-12-06 10:15 AMID: 1953934
This has been an interesting thread to read.

We are working diligently to improve our experience for our experts. A lot of our focus in the previous year has been on building new systems where experts can get paid for their efforts and members can get their problems solved even when they don't fit into Q&A. Soon we will be starting on a project to improve our rewards system with regards to Q&A and points in general. How we approach discussions and making it easier for users to contribute content that doesn't necessarily fit into questions, articles or videos is also being evaluated.

We haven't forgotten about the Q&A system that got us here. We took a first step in allowing the community to close questions that author's abandon, but realize there is a lot more work to do here to make sure the "system" doesn't get in the way of the users needs. We also want to make sure we are mindful of the behavior the system causes, like "point gamers" mentioned in this thread and others.

My goal is to make it easy and enjoyable to participate in our system and to recognize *ALL* the work that experts do. Helping members clarify their question so that it can be solved, curating their Gig into something actionable and mediating disputes between strangers on the internet are valuable contributions that should be recognized. If I were considering a candidate/consultant for hire and they had a profile that showed how they help solve problems in the ways mentioned above, it would definitely make a good impression on me.

I've seen some mention of the change to Qualified Expert status that happened over the summer. I've been monitoring the result of it since I took on the community role here. I will do my best to adjust that program based on what we have learned since it's roll-out.

Please continue to tell us what motivates you, it helps us build a better product for you. And I'll go out on a limb here, if anyone doesn't feel comfortable posting publicly, you can message me your story or complaint.
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