I’ll of course overlap with others, but that’s to be expected, and it’s a Survey Question anyway.
Let me break this down into what motivates me and what triggers me.
- Interacting with clever and/or (usually and) lovely people that I respect.
- Learning about stuff I’m interested in. On occasion, that I didn’t even know I was interested in.
- Sharing niche stuff I know quite well about.
- Reasoning about stuff I don’t know well at all, but arriving at an intellectually satisfying conclusion, based on Wikipedia and my powers of inference. That is truly one of the highlights for me.
- Writing well-crafted prose. Or hilarious prose. Or touching prose. (Only succumbed to writing verse here once so far.)
- Feedback. Can I get more feedback, people? Even if it isn’t adulation?
- Don’t mind the adulation either, though.
- An intriguing question on subject matter close to me, that I know all about. Often in a pet topic. You know the ones.
- An even more intriguing question, on subject matter that is not necessarily close to me, but that I know enough about to think through.
- An A2A on something that might not be intriguing at all, but that I can have fun with anyway. That includes an awful lot of survey questions.
- A question well answered by a fellow Quoran, where I have something to add to their answer (and that warrants a bit more than a comment). If my answer is going to be supplemental to theirs, I’ve lately taken to writing “Vote #1 That Quoran”: I’ve got a following by now, and I can get more upvotes than their original answer even if I’m just a clueless outsider.
- A question that has so far been answered by a bunch of people, stupidly. (Is stupidly too harsh? Unreflectively, reflexively, superficially.) It’s good to think “no, you haven’t got it at all”, crack my knuckles, and get to setting the record straight.
- A good discussion in comments, that raises a new question. Sometimes, I might A2A myself as a result.