Why do people answer questions at EE?
Posted on 2011-10-24
I am refering to the Technical Topic Areas rather than P&R.
I'm sure some people here enjoy helping others, but I'd find it hard to believe that's the main reason. Contributors here are referred to by EE staff and regulars as "volunteers", a term which suggests some degree of self-sacrifice in favour of helping others, and implies a belief in doing some kind of greater good. There must be more self-orientated reasons why contributors (I prefer the word contributors to volunteers) contribute. "What's in it for me?" is the question that springs to mind. I can't believe that the business idea is based on purely on the desire to help others, cynical as that may sound.
I'm myself am here to ask technical questions rather than answer them, and my company pays a subscription for that. Occasionally I answer questions in Photoshop and do so partly because I enjoy the challenge and because it keeps me up to date. I am not really interested in getting points, except perhaps to show off by appearing in the league of top answers, but I don't really have time for that these days. Only very occasionally do I find myself answering technical questions at EE out of a genuine desire to help. That's probably because I work as a teacher as an IT-administrator where much of my time is spent on site helping students with questions about software, and files and other IT aspects, and in that sense I am helping others constantly. Perhaps this I why I don't do it so much at EE.
Anyway, would appreciate your thoughts.