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What is the motivation for answering questions?
What motivates people to answer questions in Stack Overflow?
This place is AWESOME!

I have been posting questions on Stack Overflow for about a month now. Every time I post one I receive fast answers that are exactly what I am looking for. Just so I can understand the site better I'd like to know why are the people who answer questions on here so dedicated and loyal to the site. As far as I know, no one is getting any sort of physical reward. Is it the badges? A strong passion for code? Or some other reason. I'd really like to know the answer.

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marked as duplicate by Michael Mrozek, BalusC, random Jun 14 '11 at 21:03

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
    
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Sorry for the retag, but you tagged this "bug" :) –  balpha Jun 14 '11 at 21:00
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SO is like a bug, it's a catchy bug too! –  Moshe Jun 14 '11 at 21:05
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"why are the people who answer questions on here so dedicated and loyal to the site." Because they whips they use when we don't meet our answer quota hurt! –  Adam Davis Jun 14 '11 at 21:05
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[status-by-design]. Funny. –  dmckee Jun 14 '11 at 22:57

5 Answers 5

Quoting myself from Who answers questions on Stack Overflow?

Most of the time, it's that "I did something good for someone else" feeling.

Here's some discussions on the concept: The problem with extrinsic motivation and What aspects of psychology does Stack Overflow take advantage of?

Those could give you some insight towards the discussions that have already been had here.

Additionally, note that there is a site http://careers.stackoverflow.com where people get to show off their best answers (or questions) so those positive contributions end up being a bonus on their resume and end up making them look better to prospective employers.

Another reason, definitely worth mentioning, is that we answer questions to grow our ability to communicate, and to keep all our skills sharp. Not everyone can teach, and not everyone can answer questions well. Like with anything else, you really have to devote yourself to the task at hand to become good at it. So by answering a lot of questions, we get better at answering questions in general. This matters for being a good team-member. This matters for being a good teacher. This matters for being able to defend your position on something later. And never you mind that (for example) when I answer PHP questions, I'm actually learning something about PHP (because I had to research to answer the question) and so is the asker.

Then there's the part about where we all like to show off what we know ;)

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+1 for your last line. –  Moshe Jun 14 '11 at 21:05
  1. Lots of reputation
  2. Lots of badges

Hang the desire to help and the sense of satisfaction...

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You are my inspiration. –  squillman Jun 14 '11 at 21:08

A few reasons:

  1. I learn as much from answering questions as I do from asking questions, if not more.
  2. A strong sense of satisfaction from answering questions (and, of course, earning rep and badges).
  3. Geek cred.
  4. I got a job through Stack Overflow Careers. A really good job. So I'll continue to go with what's worked :)
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  1. Strong desire to help the community
  2. Strong satisfaction from being able to do #1

Hang the rep and the badges...

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For the warm feeling you get when you know you have improved the internet.

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Something else is causing that. :P –  Robert Harvey Jun 14 '11 at 21:07
    
Oh? What is it then? :) –  Octavian Damiean Jun 14 '11 at 21:15
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Not sure what it is, but it's leaving a puddle. –  squillman Jun 14 '11 at 21:25

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