Unless it is your job to start threads, 90% of us would probably agree that starting a topic is very selfish. The most obvious reason would be:
a. to gain information on a specific question, answer unknown
b. to get feedback on a general idea
c. to research current trends, products, style, etc.
There are also other reasons to post questions or opinions:
d. to spark conversation, and thus new ideas
f. to fuel our own creativity and that of others
g. to connect with people who share a similar interest
h. to share ideas with others that might have the same passion
i. to feel better about ourselves and what we choose to pass our time with.
I am sure other people have other reasons, but there are mine. To me, cooking is an art - an outlet for creativity, and one week I feel very creative, the next I might be very curious, the next I might be very complacent, and then next I'm downright fed up with the whole affair and depressed altogether (hamburgers and pasta all week long). So, guess which period might see a lot of my posts? (okay, the answer is: curious and creative)
This recent fascination with other people's posts (I have never posted anything in a desire to get the most comments!) and comments kind of defeats the purpose of the freedom we have at SE. I recently closed my restaurant (great economy we got goin' on, great winter, too) and I don't like the way some of my own comments have been received - makes me want to keep my opinions to myself. But like Timeo... said, there are a lot of us with good hearts that sincerely just like to talk about food; and quite often a good friendly discussion is thwarted because of a few lousy comments. The other freedom we have is go click on another thread!
Your anonymity might protect you, but other people's feelings can still be hurt.
PS If I think of something else, can I comment on this later?