I've been on GAG too long to get excited. I still like seeing 'most helpful' answers though.
I have no interest in going out and helping random strangers per se, if there is one there and they need help that is different, but it was never something I sought out.
With the rise of google, it seems people's brains have altered. Our eyes are trained to skim massive quanitites of results or to quickly get to a point. It was not always so, I remember reading long books by specialists for knowledge on a topic and it was anybody's guess if my query were ever addressed. Finding a specific answer to anything you were looking for was generally a big "EUREKA!" moment.
So what does this have to do with getting best answers?
Well, I think on GAG that people have a very limited space to describe challenging life problems that are not easily solved nor even understood by the people reading them. Even the askers do not fully understand things enough to ask the right questions that would help them. So in a very short space, a massive amount of comprehension, insight, and "seeing through" the post by trying to imagine and fit the situation together, is required. A lot of it is just blind luck, hoping you hit the issue at its heart. This skill seems useful to me, and I originally came to practice it. The only way to measure is if the other person thought you hit the solution, or at least understood it in a way enough to be helpful.
I've grown past this stage. Now I'm just a boring old community member. But for tradition sake, I like to pay homage to the metric of MH, so that is the news I like to get most.
Aaaaand you can see why I named myself Pedantic. I did that on purpose. Sort of. =-)
It used to be 'new message' (I hope my friends are not reading this) but now it becomes boring. Now I'm interested in opinion comments because so that I can talk to new people and it implies that my opinion does have an impact.
Probably messages, opinions can be good but its kind of mixed feelings on one hand you have the feeling oo did I get a good response and on the other your thinking god am I going to have to deal with a troll lol.
I love it when people mention me on things, so I think I get most excited about mention notifications. Followed shortly after by new message, and then opinion, and then question. If I asked questions more frequently I think opinion and question would be flipped but alas.
messages from weirdo turkish guys, so I can rip them a new butthole and skip away joyfully. and messages from my GaG homies are always a nice treat :p mho is always a delight. ohhh now I can't decide wich makes me happier... lol