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Why Do you Answer Questions Here?

Posted on 2011-03-25
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I'm curious why people here answer other's questions.  More specifically, what psychogocial (non-material) reward do you feel that you get by performing such a task.

Thanks in advance for your insight and feedback.
Question by:bncloud
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LVL 26

Accepted Solution

Nick67 earned 75 total points
ID: 35220007
I have learned a lot here.
Before the site went to a pay model, it was always in the top 10, and usually top three sites for anything Googled
"MS Access vba ....................."

Google "ms access wia commondialog"

Now, having taken, I give.
The other thing is permanence.
Somebody may get immediate help, but others, maybe years down the road, will also find solutions.
It makes answering and posting a worthwhile endeavour
LVL 84

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 35220119
I like being a 'guru' but I stick around for all the things I Don't know.  Which is a lot.  I learn a lot by researching and coming up the answers to questions.
LVL 50

Expert Comment

ID: 35220459
T-shirts.  Gain 50,000 points in the zones and get a T-shirt.

Plus learn and give back for what you have gained.
Free Tool: Port Scanner

Check which ports are open to the outside world. Helps make sure that your firewall rules are working as intended.

One of a set of tools we are providing to everyone as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

LVL 84

Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 35220470
Oh, yes, I forgot T-Shirts!!

Author Comment

ID: 35220587
Ok, if I was going to try and sum-up so far, then I'd saw we have:

1. Accrued knowledge, either thru researching answers or reading someone elses answers
2. Reward knowing the value of shared knowledge, via longevity and audience reach of said knowledge
3. Social status within community (ie Guru)
4. Self-aggrandizing Trinckets :)

Did I get that about right?  And what have I missed?  

Others want to chime-in here please....
LVL 50

Expert Comment

ID: 35220678
3. Social status within community (ie Guru)

Probably not quite right.  More like demonstrating your ability to others.  Could be employers or fellow workers or contacts.  Not those within EE.  Gives an idea of your knowledge.  There have been some Microsoft MVPs come out of Experts Exchange.

You'll also find little clique groups within EE.  Venture at your own risk into the Lounge or Philosophy/Religion or Math/Science areas to note what is going on.  So you are getting little social networks there.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 35220706
>>  And what have I missed?

Besides the above mentioned things, definitely hanging out in the Lounge.  But as dbrunton noted, it's not for the faint of heart.
LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 35220868
In some ways too, it's like a church or a favorite store.
"Oh, yeah, that's a great place...but I hardly ever go there."
Then, one day, it isn't there anymore.

I NEED Experts Exchange, therefore, if I am wise, I had better help support it.
Or else one day, it won't be there anymore.
So it isn't just altruism, or a sense of fair-play or giving back.

It is also knowing that a valuable resource needs to be tended and supported if it is to continue to thrive.
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

by:Nancy McCullough
Nancy McCullough earned 75 total points
ID: 35223857
I wish I could say it was for the t-shirts, but alas - when they said they sent it.... it never arrived and I'm not the sort to complain. (though I do wish I had one!)

My top 10

I am here for:

1. Brain exercise - a chance to research the vast that is unknown (that's not relig., life after death or poltergeist and paranormal stuff)

2. Tshirts (even tho I never received mine)

3. The 'I help you if you help me' give and take concept. I know I will need answers and I know that someone on here will have them

4. Suicide prevention when my computer(s) start to threaten a complete meltdown

5. The emoticons are sexy (uhhh.... ok. that's a stretch)

6. It's something that which I enjoy being a part

7. I get to learn new stuff all the time. If I feel like I am sick of learning, I can shut it off. If I'm excited to learn, I can pick and choose my topic and get good information

8. I like to help

9. You asked why I like to answer questions "Here" - My initial thought was "in the miscellaneous category" then thought "on EE". To my first thought, my answer would be "because some questions just don't have 1 category in which to be slotted". The second thought, my answer would be "because it beats Facebook anyday!"

10. I love technology

LVL 21

Expert Comment

ID: 35226506
1.      I made an account some years ago asking question then I forgot about this site, being busy with work.
2.      I had some free time last year and for some reasons I remembered of it and I wanted to know if my account is still open (after at least 4-5 years).
3.      It was open and I decided to not be involved with any technical questions/answers.
4.      Because I consider that people around here have brain, I wanted to see their understanding in philosophical/religious side. I liked the challenges and discussions. I was not direct interested in any reward, but was OK when it came.
5.      After a while I was challenged by somebody to make the effort to gain my free membership of 10000 points.
6.      Last year in December I decided to help others with technical staff. I spent 3 weeks, 2-3 hours per day, mostly in the evening and I made over 40000 points.
7.      It is good to help other people.
8.      Very soon I will stop again because my life will change again. Very possible that I will move, work in other country and very busy with my new job.

In one sentence: answering questions not necessarily for points, but to see how other smart people in their domain of activity, have the views over some complicates aspects of the human life.
LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 35236039
I just wanted to prove I was a master of the miscellaneous.  Now I'm a wizard.  There's a chuckle.

cityqat, you should follow up about your shirt.  I got some for my kids too.  Nice to wear as a "thank you" for helping others.  I usually work for food.  T-shirts are good too.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Nancy McCullough
ID: 35236154
The most diligent and wonderful moderator of this thread brought the t-shirt issue to the attention of the shirt people. I am soon to get my new t-shirt! I was supposed to get it in early 2010, but 2011 is just as good! YAY! Thank you to whomever made my dream of an EE t-shirt happen! lol

Aleghart - Food and T-shirts. Isn't that how Comdex ultimately failed in 2003? The CES show is similar, but different, and wow - now they've gone virtual. No food. No tshirts. Who's the winner there, I wonder? haha
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 35365419
i do it for the fun of it (and to play in the lounge)

Author Closing Comment

ID: 35788042
I thought comments were beneficial, but I'm not sure anyone really summed-up an answer to the question.
LVL 26

Expert Comment

ID: 35788165

Let me take another stab at answering your question about my motivations
<More specifically, what psychogocial (non-material) reward do you feel that you get by performing such a task.>

So NOT about what I may get out of it tangibly
NOT about tending a needed and useful resourse
NOT about learning

In non-material terms, I enjoy answering the questions
Why do people do Suduku puzzles?
Why do people do crosswords?
Why do people play single player video games?

These are all enjoyable past times.
So is answering questions here.
The authors post questions--which in some very important ways are puzzles.
And I enjoy solving puzzles.

So I answer.

I think, for each expert, you may get a different answer.
For myself, as an Access database developer, my job is very much puzzle solving.
How will I take a business need, hardware, MS Access, VBA and personnel and create a robust solution that will deal with that need?

It's a very complex puzzle--but it's a puzzle.
And I enjoy solving puzzles.

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