I've noticed that you must wait sometimes days to find halfway decent answers at Wolfram Community but when posting similar questions at StackExchange Mathematica answers sometimes come within minutes and the are often very well written with pride coming from its members. Why is it that it seems we attract a more dedicated clique of participants?
Probably a combination of many factors. I will list some differences between SE sites (M SE in particular) and Wolfram Community, which I consider important in this context:
- Historically M SE (this site) is a successor of Stack Overflow Mathematica tag, which was the place where the original smaller group of enthusiasts had enough time to gather and build a strong community core.
- Stack Overflow Mathematica tag itself was empowered by an influx of users from MathGroup, which happened around 2010 - 2011. So M SE is in many ways a successor of both, which matters both in terms of culture of the M SE community and in terms of actual people involved. Wolfram Community came out later and had no such benefits, although of course some fraction of former MathGroup users have migrated there.
- Stack Exchange Q/A model has been optimized for answers with high information density. Each answer is a standalone piece of information, which is not supposed to be a start of any kind of a discussion thread (which is not the case for Wolfram Community model, where answers very frequently transform into long threads of discussions which lower the information density and make it harder to find the relevant part). This also makes SE answers to be easier to index and promptly returned by the search engines.
- Wolfram Community does not have a distinction between comments and answers. Stack Exchange has explicit distinction, and the two serve very different purpose. Comments are more or less a back door to allow some amount of discussions around the answers, which also serves as a source of extra fun and community-building device. But even so, extended comment discussions are also discouraged.
- Stack Exchange voting model, as well as things such as badges etc, make it fun to answer and compete with fellow users. While in the short term it does not guarantee the best answer to bubble to the top / get the most votes, in the long term this usually happens. While Wolfram Community has voting functionality, for some reason (lack of comments, may be?) the competing part is not there, which takes a big chunk of fun out. And because the answers there frequently turn into threads of replies, voting is not at all as effective as answer-ranking device either.
- Stack Exchange has a powerful community involvement model, where users can perform moderation, edit posts of others, etc. This brings extra fun and the sense of liveliness to the site.
- Stack Exchange sites have a very high degree of polish, coming from the manpower behind the site, the effort spent on development, and the long history of getting massive feedback from the community via meta sites and evolving the sites / rules accordingly. Wolfram Community can't be even remotely compared to SE in this regard, since it probably has just a single developer.
- M SE is not directly associated with Wolfram, while Wolfram Community is - for whatever difference that may make.
On the other hand, Wolfram Community is much better suited for posting various explorations, tutorials, computational essays, and otherwise showing some work one may have done. Which is what I personally find it most valuable for. It also is useful as a source of official opinions and information on various topics coming directly from the company and fully endorsed by it. Besides, a lot of questions that don't fit M SE strict Q/A format, are allowed on Wolfram Community, which in many cases can also be considered a definite plus for Wolfram Community.
So at the end of the day, I personally find both of them useful (albeit for different things). But as I have limited time to spend on this sort of activities, and can't afford to monitor both sites closely, I personally mostly monitor M SE, since I just find myself much more at home here. This is of course a very personal choice.