Over the last two years, this product has exploded in the Salesforce developer domain, with (at the time of writing, in February 2014) statistics in the region of:
With useage, and success rates like that, it's easy to see why the StackExchange is becoming the go to place for Salesforce questions, with answers typically being provided in a matter of minutes, to some of the most complicated questions.
With thousands of users, from every timezone in the world logging in every minute of the day, it is clear to see why and how if you have a query about Salesforce, there is going to be someone out there who has experienced this before, or has the knowledge to guide you through to a solution.
But is that the real reason the StackExchange is so popular? Of course not, it's all about badges and reputation of course!! One of the most addictive types of gamification in the modern arena is earning reputation from your peers for assisting them, and by providing the best service over your peers!
The model has completely hooked me. I even find myself logging on from my smartphone during bus rides to see if there is a question I can help out with! The buzz of finding someone you can assist is matched only by the excitement in your hands as you rattle out an answer at a typing speed that would make the Clerk of the Houses of Parliament blush.
The other great aspect of the reputation model, is the philanthropy, as well as enjoying earning it by assisting your community, you have the power to award it as well, if you see an answer that you wholeheartidly agree with, you can vote it up, making it clear to the community that this is a quality answer, and also awarding the user reputation in the process.
Good questions, equally, can be voted up if you think them especially pertinent, and even the smallest aspect - comments - can be flagged as useful or helpful making sure everyone knows which snippets of text are good or bad.
Some of the questions that I have asked and answered include: