Why are you here?

I've been lurking around since the very beginning and it's great to see the forum getting so active. I sometimes wonder why people come here and thought it would be interesting to talk about.

So why are you here?

To learn, for homework, research, coding, venting, showing off how smart you are... :)

Me? I like to read the discussions and learn, am totally addicted. :tup:
Hi MattC,

Good question! I've just arrived at this forum while searching for answers to my many, many, many stats questions. It seems like a great forum, with lots of activity!

I'm here to learn. I'm starting to analyze the bird ecological data I've collected over 4 field seasons for my MSc. (I know, 4 seasons is a little unconventional :) I have a hard time 'getting' stats, but I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so it drives me crazy when I don't understand what I'm doing! So, here I am, reading what applies, asking a few questions, and hoping that between all my resources off-line and what I can find online, I can get to the bottom of my data, sanity intact :)


Super Moderator
*Puts psychologist hat on*: For intermittent reinforcement in the form of increased self-efficacy subsequent to the completion of challenging tasks (viz a viz, answering questions). :rolleyes:

But really, four things:
  • Procrastination
  • Learning by following interesting discussions by people far cleverer than I
  • Trying to help other social-sciencers with stats (we find it hard, you know)
  • Procrastination

Would be interesting to hear from some of the others :)


Ambassador to the humans
  1. I love teaching. I don't really get enough of it in my current position...
  2. I know quite a bit about a few topics so I have the ability to help others.
  3. I don't really know anything at all about stats (the more you learn the more you realize that you know nothing...) so I like seeing what other people suggest and have to say on certain issues.
  4. I'll agree with CowboyBear... procrastination.
  5. Now that I'm a mod I try to keep it nice and clean around here so it's not riddled with spam and questions are in sensible locations.
  6. I don't ask many questions but there are quite a few very knowledgeable people around here that have some good insights.


Super Moderator
There are some pretty cluey people around here, so I use this to:

1) reinforce and improve on what I already know;
2) offer help, particularly with biological data;
3) improve my knowledge of R and its applications (you know who you are: The Ecologist: Dason: Vinux and Mike White);

and though I wouldn't have admitted it (but I'll follow CB's lead);

4) procrastination.



TS Contributor
1) learn from more experienced people/scholars
2) get fuel for further speculation
3) ask for stat advices
4) help other users (when and where I can)



Ninja say what!?!
hehehe...I've noticed that mostly regulars have answered this. I guess I'll add my bit though.

1) I first started looking around because I wanted to become more active and learn from people smarter than me.
2) Once I came to this forum, I really liked the idea and wanted to help to make it more active. hehe...I remember when I first became a member I was answering EVERYONES threads, even when I didn't know what they were talking about or the answer.
3) I'm very happy that it's so active now and full of knowledgeable members. I mainly just sit back and read through postings now. I still help where I can, but not as actively as initially.


Global Moderator
As my professional life gets busier and busier, my reason for coming change, however on average they are:

Helping others, and doing something back to the community that helped me (especially so with the R community).

Moderation. I do my part to keep the forum clean.

The best way to learn is to help others, I often find that explaining concepts to others is the best way to grasp a concept yourself. You might think you know all about something until you try teaching it to someone else. Dason is right: "the more you learn the more you realize that you know nothing" - isnt that great? I love learning new things. I love to better myself - this is something that motivates the best.

The open-source community, the free knowledge sharing, people helping with zero commercial interest really shows me the way forward for us as humans. I hope others will start realizing this. Here is a great example of what we are learning from such phenomenon as the above (the internet style) - as we start moving from the carrot and stick model:

(this will give the regulars insight on why they come here)

Why the open-source community works:

These videos also illustrate why the internet is so uniquely potent in spreading knowledge, and why so many people develop software for free and help for free. It also show why net-neutrality is key.

Now, as I dont have the luxury of procrastinating that much anymore, I usually just moderate and tackle questions that for some reason tickle my fancy (R & Ecology questions will do that often ;-) ).
I have some mathematical competence, but very little experience with non-trivial statistics. My work has placed me in the position of evaluating some social science research. I find the questions and answers provided here do a lot to help me frame my work, and often to encourage me to continue what I am doing.

And I find the regular posters to be very helpful and very congenial. This is a pleasant forum.

I haven't been here for long. I found the forum a week ago when i needed some help. Now i guess like other I'm here for procrastination.
Btw, I had to look up the word procrastination while reading this thread so it seems I'm also learning things :)
I need help in learning stats (beyond the basics of linear regression, t-tests, chi-square taught in college classes) and will definitely need help when/if I get into grad school.

It's interesting how you guys use this for procrastination (my form would actually be ... mindless facebooking or twitter =X).


No cake for spunky
I run into problems that I am not sure how to solve at work. Well that was my initial reason. Now I come because it's an interesting place.

This is my fourth graduate program (third master's and a doctorate). I still don't know stats as well as I should if that is any consolation Alicia Wong :)


I'm here because...

  1. I was driving my wife crazy always trying to talk about stats and R with her
  2. I love community learning
  3. I like giving back when I can
  4. I shamelessly read threads and your answers and store it all away
  5. I hate bots and need to keep an eye on Dason
  6. Procrastination masked as altruism