This community Participation

I am in an Executive MBA program. Right now my team is studying Experts Exchange. My question is not technical but research based.

Question: What motivates this community to participate on both sides, the people who are the sources of information and the ones that have a paid subscription to this site?

Greatly appreciate it.
james heasletAsked:
Who is Participating?

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I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I think people come here searching for answers to problems. They search (probably using Google) and find links to Experts-Exchange (amongst other links). That is how I got here - searching for answers on a VPN problem on a Vista machine.

Probably in most cases (I cannot know for sure) people find an answer to their question varying from a pin point answer to a set of ideas that can help in forming an answer.

The site is well moderated and professionally run so askers are largely treated with respect and if they find an answer, they may come back for more. A few answers and they may well join. We have many paying members here so it is true that good answers encourage people to join.

Some members who join also like helping others and may also be good at what they do. Inevitably for these members (I count myself in this group) answering questions becomes an enjoyable hobby aided and abetted by points from "Good Answers".

From this point it gets complex. Some people really like helping others and find satisfaction in helping others. The resulting points lead to rewards (free membership by month up to free lifetime membership); to respect amongst one peers; and for those who can empathize with askers and treat all members well, a chance to join the volunteers who moderate, administrate, edit articles, and police the threads to maintain professionalism.

Distilled to a single thought: Experts help people with problems.

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james heasletAuthor Commented:
Thank you sir. This will help my class out in our presentation. Your professionalism and time is greatly appreciated. I'll book mark this site for sure.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
James - you are very welcome and I was glad to help. Experts-Exchange is a good place to "hang out" so welcome and please come back from time to time.
John almost covered this, but I think it is worth making an extra point of it. One of the motivations for looking at questions to answer is that you find questions that are just on the boundary of what you know and what you don't know -- these represent prime learning opportunities. Sometimes you can dig in and learn the additional bits that you need to answer the question; sometimes you get the benefit of seeing someone else answer the question. I find that learning new stuff at this margin is pretty enjoyable.
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