Why Do You Contribute to Community Documentation?

by chromatic

It's important to understand volunteer motivation to encourage further altruistic and mutually beneficial behavior. O'Reilly Editor Andy Oram has created a short survey for people to contribute to community documentation:

"Do you answer questions on mailing lists about how to use a software tool or language? Do you write documentation, put up web pages, or contribute to wikis about software? If so, please take the following survey to help O'Reilly do research that will help us understand why people contribute to documentation (versus software projects themselves.) The results will be published on the O'Reilly web site, and may help software projects and communities get more such contributions. We're only interested in hearing from people who do this for non-monetary reasons.


2007-01-26 17:39:18
Nice survey. I'd like to suggest a follow-up survey: "Do you only do things when you get paid money for them? Do you think money is the only worthwhile motivation?"

It just sounds odd to me when anyone asks "why do you do $foo, especially since you don't get paid for it." There are thousands of non-monetary ways to get paid, and the survey mentioned the primary ones. I think anyone who requires money to do anything leads a barren life!