This is a bit fucked, Quora.
Ottway Ducard stashed this in interesting
To me, quora is like television for reading. Find some interesting answers to fun questions. I couldn't care less if anyone saw my quora read history; like flipping channels, my interests can only be partially inferred. Sometimes I may watch (read) something in a specific category (video games, startups, politics) but often I'll just browse interesting questions on quora.
The question is why they defaulted to "opt in".
As Ivan Kirigin says:
What if the question were “How can I cope with newly discovered cancer?”
Or, “Should I come out to my parents?”
Just to state it plainly I don’t care about these questions on Quora. But, that they would tell fairly arbitrary friends about my activity is extremely inappropriate.
I'm not sure I even understand the rationale for doing this. I'm sure there must be a quora answer from someone with quora?
So basically, social networking is gamified! (Goes to give props to Adam)
The unofficial answer is about getting people addicted:
Views give immediate rewards to new, less-active, lower-caliber users and start them on a diet of intermittent variable reward, and with Quora's real-time ability to distribute content to feeds these rewards could come within a few seconds of posting an answer. People will see "Wow, one person has already seen this answer!" and the effect will be even more tangible when they can see that "Jack Smith has seen this answer!" with a link to Jack Smith's photo and profile. They will start adding more answers, perhaps getting some upvotes, and they're well on their way.
The official answer is about giving more transparency:
We added Views as a way to discover what Quora is distributing to people you follow in their feeds and digest emails. Through Views, you can more quickly find new content that's trending around Quora that you might not have otherwise seen. And for those who have written questions, answers or posts, Views provides unique insights about who is seeing your content and the reach you have on Quora through your followers and the topics you write on.
I turned the feature off. I'd rather lurk.
I'll save you the time of clicking through. The answer is nothing.
They learned well from Facebook, eh?
They are trusting that in a couple weeks, most people will forget.
Which is true.
Sad but true.