I got the PM and I did answer the questions, as follows:
Re: "What made you join this site?"
I wanted to participate in, and be educated by, what seems to be the most prevalent poly forum around.
Re: "What do you gain from this community?"
Perspective from other members' thoughts and experiences, and friendly interactions with many of the members.
Re: "How do you value the people you talk to on here?"
I make an effort to be reliably compassionate and diplomatic in my conversations with the people here.
I also suggested posting the questions on a new thread in the Fireplace board, but I suppose the Intro board works just as well for me. I also agree with the others that your intentions, and the nature of your work here, should be made formal and clear.
It sounds like your project may be somewhat flexible and largely just involves learning about an online "culture" through participation. If so, then your questions may change, or you may think of additional questions to ask, after you've been here for awhile.
I suggest exploring our various threads more extensively, getting a feel for the people here, and developing a deeper understanding of what polyamory is and why it's important. Perhaps studying the Life stories and blogs board
would be useful to that end. The Golden Nuggets board
might also be a place to visit.
Does your assignment require you to obtain your information via private messaging? If not, I'd encouraging posting any questions you have publicly, so that the forum as a whole can benefit from the results.
Just my take on the matter. I hope you are able to learn and be edified by your experience here.