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    Quora has always felt like a site that desperately wants Stack Exchange-level prestige but is sabotaged by the much sketchier vibe it consistently gives off. Along with the OP’s closed-platform we-own-your-content issues, there’s also things like:

    • Forcing users to sign up and go through an onboarding process before they can read answers (their recent breach should remind us that this kind of “growth hacking” is not just obnoxious but irresponsible)
    • A Yahoo Answers-like “no question is too dumb” ethos (if you’ve gotten their daily digest emails after being forced to sign up, you probably know what I’m talking about)
    • Power users very obviously using the site as a means to build their brands, personal and otherwise. You don’t get the sense that anyone answering questions there is doing so out of the kindness of their hearts.

    All of which combine to create a pretty unappealing platform to have any part in. I understand that Quora is a VC-funded startup, and that a VC-funded startup needs to show growth if it wants to continue existing, but it’s a good cautionary tale of how investor demand for growth is often at odds with building a platform that people actually want to use.

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      Quora has always felt like a site that desperately wants Stack Exchange-level prestige but is sabotaged by the much sketchier vibe it consistently gives off

      This is so accurate.

      it’s a good cautionary tale of how investor demand for growth is often at odds with building a platform that people actually want to use

      I’ll go a step further and say that the ideas are diametrically opposed; I see no room for coexistence.

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        I’ll go a step further and say that the ideas are diametrically opposed; I see no room for coexistence.

        Oh I completely agree, just forgot that this is a site where we can speak these heresies out loud ;)

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      I was looking for a cheap VPS some time ago and a quora question was one of the first search results on duckduckgo. The topmost 5 or so answers were marketing people pitching their own services.

      I don’t know whether these were ‘sponsored’ or just the moderation team not being able to catch up, but that left such a bad taste in my mouth that I simply don’t bother clicking on any quora link any more.

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        We hope to become an internet-scale Library of Alexandria.

        That’s a foreboding quote… The Library of Alexandria is a symbol of Ivory Tower knowledge hoarding and an archetypal example of how such hoarding can go disastrously wrong.

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          The Library of Alexandria is a symbol of Ivory Tower knowledge

          According to?

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            According to Carl Sagan, though he did not use that exact phrase.

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          The HN article had some interesting comments from its users. Examples: 1, 2, and 3. At least two mentioned them changing the practice of charging for questions made things worse. That extra interesting since it’s is similar to the idea of a fixed, comment pool replinished weekly that I was discussing privately with someone about improving comment quality on sites. Making it a scarce, costly resource might increase time people put into their responses. Another example of that was academic papers at key moments like theses.

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            We opt out of the wayback machine because inclusion would allow people to discover the identity of authors who had written sensitive answers publicly and later had made them anonymous, and because it would prevent authors from being able to remove their content from the internet if they change their mind about publishing it.

            Quora is making promises that they can’t keep. No technical measure can stop me (taking on the role of your adversary in this scenario) from simply remembering a Quora Q&A, and even if I can’t prove it to anyone else, I can still act on it when making a hiring decision or whatever. Assuming I’d have to prove it, though, then your anti-botting mechanisms have the problem of not always working, and you also can’t stop me from using Snipping Tool to take a screenshot.

            The only way to make an ephemeral conversation platform on the Web is to make it invite only, like a Discord room.

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              In our world where people get disinvited from the Oscars for a teenaged tweet, Quora at least raising the bar for recording makes sense.