Sergey Zelvenskiy's answer to Quora and Impact: What has Quora taught you? - Quora
Stashed in: Quora!
One question, which I keep asking myself is:
Why Quora is so much better than Yahoo!Answers?
Here is simple answer, which is obvious: No Ads, better UI.
Here is the one, which is deeper:
Yahoo pushed the product to everybody in one day.
Yahoo!Answers did not have a chance to build a community of users, who will set a tone for a site. Yahoo!Answers immediately got filled with the noise. Good questions and answers are lost and not clearly visible.
Quora grows organically from core Silicon Valley early adopters to more and more people. Core group of users sets the quality standard for the content, which makes quora so much better.
Lessons learned, organic growth around well defined core audience beats mass reach.
I do wonder if Quora has a future.
There's a lot of people who stopped contributing to that service.
It is just too much complicated. It must have a simple mental model!
1. Quora admins are too mean or too OCD to inspire users to contribute more.
2. Quora community does not allow for chatting and other human interactions -- it's just about answering questions and leaving.
3. Quora Inc has not demonstrated that it cares about its community. It cares more about information than people.
I'm new to Quora--no one's slammed me yet, but I think the things I've been answered have been pretty safe subjects--happiness, sustainability, simplicity. Hard to slam someone talking about getting off the grid or veggie gardening:)
I have slammed people on Quora and people have slammed me.
I like Quora for that - Intellectual Warfare (:
Interesting you say that because as a researcher/history person, basically my entire life was proving the other guy wrong. The point was incidental. The activity was the rush--Just being able to out-intellect people. Recently I got slammed on a prominent ed reform blog for daring to break into the complaining and say something positive. I had people asking if I had a degree, questioning my use of semantics...had I earned the oxygen I breathed... in another stage in my life the ignorance and mean would have really bothered me. Now, I laugh--actually, it generated a blog post, about which I laughed some more.
But I'll tell you, Rajan... you're right, there's nothing like intellectual discourse in a setting w other intellects. I try to stay away from the places where people make too many assumptions and are just shooting people down rather than engaging in true, artful debate. Guess that's why I'm enjoying myself today:)