After I wrote my post about identity and reputation, Robert Scoble discovered the downside to Quora.
Turns out I was totally wrong. It’s a horrid service for blogging, where you want to put some personality into answers. It’s just fine for a QA site, but we already have lots of those and, in fact, the competitors in this space are starting to react. Mahalo just released a new version that has been getting lots of praise and at DLD I met the CEO of Answers.com and he said to expect a major update from his service (which has 1000x more users). Stack Exchange is growing faster than Quora and has many many times more questions and answers, plus I’ve found the answers are broader in reach, and deeper in quality (especially for programmers).
I wondered what it was that suggested to Robert that it ever was a blogging service anyway. Looks like he’s also discovered the down side to their rather elitist approach to community; namely, the zillion rules of etiquette that one must follow In Order To Be Taken Seriously There:
Some of my answers were controversial and caused flamewars. Quora is a place that’s free of flamewars and controversy. Why? Because when it happens reviewers pull those answers out of the stream and mark them as “not helpful.” I’ve seen this happen many times, not just to my own posts, but where I’ve answered in a way that got a flamewar going I’ve seen my answers pulled out too.
Ooh. Nothing to see here, move along. Mustn’t have controversy, no, no, no. Because there is only One True Answer.
Sarcasm aside, Quora is proving itself to be a ‘self-moderated’ community with little heart and little hope. It’s Digg for elites.
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