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Quora Will Push Its Most Link-Baity Content to BuzzFeed - Liz Gannes


Stashed in: @lizgannes, Quora!, Awesome, BuzzFeed!, @semil, Content is king., Content, Media

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Fascinating for me to read. Fascinating!

Because?

So if I get this straight, Quora gets people to write things for free.

And then other people like BuzzFeed make money from what the Quorans write for free.

And the Quora users are okay with this?

On Quora, answers to the question “What are the most surreal places one can ever visit?” are a fantastical mix of caves and mountains and formations and reefs. The page has more than half a million views.

On BuzzFeed, answers to the same question were reposted and reformatted under the headline “27 Surreal Places To Visit Before You Die.” The post has more than 4.2 million views.

And Quora is totally okay with that.

In fact, BuzzFeed is the latest of seven content distribution partners for Quora. Others are Forbes, Slate and the BBC. Quora exec Marc Bodnick sees the media deals as a win-win, where Quora writers get more distribution, and media partners get good content.

It feels like someone is not winning here. I'm just not sure who.

Did Bodnick really just lump GIFs into the same bucket as porn and link bait?!?

It might seem a little self-defeating for a social site to concede that a media player has wider reach than it does. But Bodnick said the deal serves Quora’s goal of sharing and growing the world’s knowledge. “If you keep the quality high, the quality attracts readers,” he said. “It’s not GIFs, it’s not porn, it’s not link bait.”

Good to see that Quora still plays the role of Content Snob on the Internet.

Am I the only one who thinks Imgur has more chance to be a top 10 website than Quora?

The media companies don’t pay Quora for the content, and Quora doesn’t pay them for the syndication. Bodnick said Quora is unlikely to try to make money until “after next year” — a.k.a. 2015. It can afford to do so because it has raised tens of millions of dollars, and CEO Adam D’Angelo has committed to playing a long-term game.

D’Angelo’s goal is to make Quora a Top 10 website, Bodnick said. The company is far from that today, but content distribution may be a bridge to the next step.

"Become a Top 10 website" is a very peculiar goal.

I do think Quora can become a Top 10 site (over time) to take over search + Wikipedia + Blogger, but who knows when and how. On the Buzzfeed thing, it may be a way to encourage writers (who have many options) to stay with Quora.

Some reasons why that won't happen:

1. Over time BuzzFeed will siphon some writers by paying them.

2. Other writers will leave because they don't want the association with BuzzFeed.

3. Once someone is good at writing, they will put their best writing on their own blogs, not Quora.

4. Medium offers more promise of connecting writers with readers than Quora.

5. Many good people have stopped using Quora and won't come back.

It's one thing to want to be an important part of the Web ecosystem, like Wikipedia is.

But Quora isn't that. It wants to be a "top 10 web company" without realizing that the way to become one is to be a social network -- or at least a faux-ial network like YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, and LinkedIn.

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