Welcome Guest.   Make a donation to an author on the site August 20, 2014, 09:25:40 PM  *

Please login or register.
Or did you miss your validation email?


Login with username and password (forgot your password?)
Why not become a lifetime supporting member of the site with a one-time donation of any amount? Your donation entitles you to a ton of additional benefits, including access to exclusive discounts and downloads, the ability to enter monthly free software drawings, and a single non-expiring license key for all of our programs.


You must sign up here before you can post and access some areas of the site. Registration is totally free and confidential.
 
Read the full one-year retrospective report on DonationCoder.com.
   
   Forum Home   Thread Marks Chat! Downloads Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Reply  |  New Topic  |  Print  
Author Topic: Quora - Facebook meets Yahoo Answers meets Wikipedia meets Twitter  (Read 5972 times)
Paul Keith
Member
**
Posts: 1,982


see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« on: June 25, 2010, 08:06:19 AM »



Basic Info:

Simply put. Quora is just a Q&A site like Ask MetaFilter and Yahoo Answers. It's addictive and well designed user interface is what's getting people excited.

App NameQuora
App URLhttp://www.quora.com/
Support MethodsFacebook Connect Account, Twitter account, registration
Trial Version Available?No
Pricing SchemeFree plus your real name and position (They do provide the option to interact anonymously with the service though)
Author Donation Linkhttp://www.quora.com/jobs
Relationship btwn. Reviewer and ProductMember of their service. Unaffiliated.


Intro:


Unfortunately, Quora sounds less interesting compared to actually using it. The initial interface is like Twitter, your later reaction will think Facebook but eventually you'll realize it's like WikiAnswers.

However because of the design of the user interface it works surprisingly clear. You'll be surprised how fast you are jumping from question to question.


Who is this app designed for:

LinkedIn users who want to better represent their expertise.

Quora basically is very reputation based and this is a major part of how it separates itself from other Q&A service.

It also has some active Silicon Valley members already that provide some very insightful answers and really there's so little unhelpful answers as of now that it doesn't feel like a public service at all.

In fact, many of the community vibe still feels like an invite-only service.

The Good

Anyone can edit and improve on an answer even grammatical errors but because of Quora's design, you rarely encounter an edit war. (Although it's still up to the air whether Quora can scale and the guidelines are mostly admin wins for edit wars)

Connects to your Facebook and Twitter followers and recommends content from them.

Quality of answers is surprisingly high besides being friendly as of this writing

Magic is in the air. It's not the perfect user interface in the world but it's really a sensation worth experiencing. It may disappoint some power users who are focusing primarily on the features but regardless whether you hate or like the interface, you just have to try it because as of right now, no interface quite matches what it gives you. Give it at least a day and you'll see one of the unique concepts of web services appear right before your eyes. This is really beyond a case of Twitter or Facebook despite the clear similarities. It is really like how Diigo turned Delicious into Web 3.0. There's nothing quite like it from a sensation perspective even if you feel the features are familiar or copies or been done before.

Suspended Accounts still work! - Not sure whether this is an important feature to others but as a person who often gets in trouble with his posting style and lack of knowledge, I tend to create blogs where I post my replies there instead of directly answering under a comment thread and while it's still a habitual process to not post directly and just blog about it, one of the flaws I felt with push notification systems is that if you're not directly replying underneath the page, you lose much of the "updated" ness of the question. A suspended account is still vastly limited because as far as I can see there's no notification aside from someone voting up an answer you posted prior to being suspended (so no e-mail notifications there) but the cool thing is that the feed updates seems to still be working as well as the follow option. Therefore if someone like app votes an answer, I still see it in my feed which is kind of cool as it makes having a suspended Quora account slightly better than having no account at all.

The needs improvement section

Quora Owns All Your Content

WYSIWYG editor works if you're not pasting something from elsewhere but it's really primitive. I.E. you have to clear out a post to reset formatting most of the time. However, it has a very good auto-saving feature of your drafts as you're typing. Also there's no edit for comments but there's a delete button

Tyranny of the social media means old answers voted up tons of times will always remain higher than recent answers.

1 killswitch means someone can delete your answers if they are an admin (although they are friendly enough to pm you) or someone can mark and hide your post as unhelpful no matter what votes you get.


Why I think you should use this product

For the magic. Leave after if you want but there comes a time when a site like Diigo or Quora appears that just transforms the way we absorb and view and attain knowledge that it needs to be experienced even if it's just for a short while because it benefits designers, it benefits researchers, it benefits people who truly want to experience the innovation of the web and not just some like or retweet button slapped on a big community website like Twitter or Facebook.

Really it's about the whole. See, eventually as with the release of Facebook answers (although a representative claims not to compete with Quora and is buddies with many of it's founders) the model may grow old.

But this point in history. This point of where the community is right now along with where the features is right. NOW is the time to experience this.

...even if there's a chance that my phrasing will disappoint or kill the hype for you. Now is the best time to join because it's not just the model alone. It's the community really and not just friendly community. It's really the community of knowledge.

The community of seeing a quality set that may never be matched again and may possibly lose it's luster after a short while


How does it compare to similar apps

Ask MetaFilter - Still "the" site currently. More experienced. Just use this as a reference point on what to search for Quora to see what a MetaFilter representative has to say.

Ask Reddit - Still not good enough to replace Ask Reddit but the design comes very close. Plus Quora is more appealing not just from an aesthetic point but from a question discovery, question creation perspective.

Yahoo Answers - MySpace to Quora's Facebook currently.

WikiAnswers - Feels like a prototype of how Quora figure'd out a comfortable balance for their Wiki-like editing user interface.

AnswerBag - Feels like an Ajax version of AnswerBag.

Facebook Answers - Didn't try

Conclusion

One of a kind/10

A service where the important part is to join and truly experience it for yourself. Doesn't matter if you'll hate it, like it, neutral to it, unimpressed by it.

It's almost like Citizen Kane or Existenz or The Thirteenth Floor... it may not be a classic to you. It may even be boring but it just needs to be experienced even for as short as half a day.


Links to other reviews of this application

It's all over Twitter and the blogosphere because these are former Facebook employees. It's really hard to not have a link.

Here's a recent review of Quora by a Tumblr poster: http://www.jasonsilverste...good-product-friday-quora
« Last Edit: July 02, 2010, 08:15:06 AM by Paul Keith » Logged

<reserve space for the day DC can auto-generate your signature from your personal PopUp Wisdom quotes>
Paul Keith
Member
**
Posts: 1,982


see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2010, 08:21:33 AM »

Btw thank you for whoever posted that screenshot. I don't know how that got there. It was just suddenly attached to the post.
Logged

<reserve space for the day DC can auto-generate your signature from your personal PopUp Wisdom quotes>
mouser
First Author
Administrator
*****
Posts: 33,242



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2010, 08:25:01 AM »

i add screenshots so i can blog the items.

thank you for the review, much appreciated.

future requests:
  • skip the colored text and various font manipulations -- makes it harder to read.. the yellow in particular is almost invisible.
  • use bbcode "lists" like this one -- makes multiple items easier to read and is really easy to do, just select a bunch of text and hit the "insert list" button.
Logged
Paul Keith
Member
**
Posts: 1,982


see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2010, 08:44:37 AM »

Sorry mouser but I can never figure out bbcode lists. They always tend to get scrumped out no matter what I do with them and it makes it hard for me to skim the details.

Yeah, maybe I should remove the yellow colored text. I thought it would make it easier to skip to the conclusion which is why I didn't particularly care for the invisible effect as I thought this time, it further makes it easier to jump to the conclusion without looking at where that category is.

The red and green was my alternative to having problems gauging what size the sub-headers should be especially since I also bolded the entries below that for easier navigation of points.
Logged

<reserve space for the day DC can auto-generate your signature from your personal PopUp Wisdom quotes>
app103
That scary taskbar girl
Global Moderator
*****
Posts: 5,148



see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2010, 04:00:54 AM »


Actually, that article isn't true.

User Content

"Content" means any information, text, graphics, or other materials uploaded, downloaded or appearing on the Service. You retain ownership of all Content you submit, post, display, or otherwise make available on the Service.

And yes, the original text is red like that too.

There is also an option that marks an answer as "not for reproduction" which forbids others from reusing your answers outside the site.

Unlike some other sites where anything you submit is automatically slapped with either a Creative Commons license or dedicated to the public domain, on Quora, the user retains full copyright of their submitted content and is only granting Quora a license to use it.

Also, because users submitted content to the site before there was a Terms of Service agreement and before the "not for reproduction" option was made available, nothing on the site that was submitted before April 22, 2010 can be reproduced outside the site, at all (except by the user that originally submitted it)

So, you have to be careful when quoting stuff from Quora and check for that "not for reproduction" label on an item as well as the date stamp on it.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2010, 04:05:15 AM by app103 » Logged

Paul Keith
Member
**
Posts: 1,982


see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2010, 11:16:03 AM »

Thanks for the clarification app.

I'm still wary until an actual scandal happens to test the TOS (with public reputation accounts it's always iffy) but right now I'm just glad I can quote Quora like I can quote Metafilter and other sites.
Logged

<reserve space for the day DC can auto-generate your signature from your personal PopUp Wisdom quotes>
urlwolf
Charter Member
***
Posts: 1,784



see users location on a map View Profile Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2010, 02:15:25 PM »

Paul,
Could you compare Quora and StackOverflow? What features are missing from SO? And the other way around? Why do you think quora will work better for general knowledge (if you do!)?
Logged
Paul Keith
Member
**
Posts: 1,982


see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2010, 03:19:36 PM »

@urlwolf

First off, this link may interest you: http://www.quora.com/How-...&redirected_qid=35617

Can't spot an equivalent question on StackOverflow although I'm not registered.

Design-wise based on the FAQ, StackOverflow is not a discussion board.

Quora is also not a discussion board but it has a very discussion board feel. Not only because subjective questions are allowed but the design is more suited for discussions ala Facebook.

Quora might gain more initial members because as most techies may hate but general users may love, Quora not only connects to Twitter and Facebook by default but they use it to make your friends find you easier.

Quora's incentive is also based on LinkedIn's reputation-like profile and it also borrows heavily from Twitter's follow button (although this is just an illusion for a feed, it adds to the "feel") while StackOverFlow is more of a technical Slashdot/Reddit/traditional rating system although heavily improved upon.

Feature-wise, the core contention is design.

Quora as of right now uses a very unique notification/feed system based off of a combination of many services.

StackOverFlow is more of a tag-based traditionally well designed Q&A model.

In that sense, StackOverFlow has a problem in that it's much closer to Ask MetaFilter but doesn't have that community.

Quora is not only much quicker at adding questions but much quicker at encouraging answers. It's almost like a professional social game built around real questions only it dodges the Yahoo Answers problem both by having a smaller developing community before going public but also because it has no "public" overview page and therefore it's not about just discovering questions but rather it's a combination of auto-discovering questions tailored for your interest like with the way Twitter works (although this sounds much more appealing than it works)

Simply put, the reason the design goes beyond design and is a feature for Quora and not for StackOverFlow is that Stack is all about Ask and Answer. Quora is all about Add, Add, Add. (whether it be question or answer)

Finally neither is really for general knowledge nor a sure fire situation yet because of the instability of Q&A models in itself.

Quora just gets more hype right now because it's a very next generation Wiki besides having the hype of former Facebook members.

Generally, although this isn't the accepted universal definition, Web 3.0 is taking Web 2.0 Ajax sites and instead of creating services, it maximizes filtration.

In this sense Quora's model right now is the first Wiki that feels more like a post editor than a Wiki and it works surprisingly well currently which is why it's like magic before the model gets abused (and it is abusable)

StackOverFlow's biggest problem for general knowledge is that it isn't real time. Much less aggressive at notification. Much less encouraging of edited answers. May be too much of a well designed but classic take of Q&A sites and while that in itself isn't bad for power users, Quora gets "it" more that half of the battle of Q&A is inspiring participation and interaction while StackOverFlow sticks to improving a old model that generally doesn't stray very far from an already existing competitor in MetaFilter.

It's core design advantage though is that like MetaFilter and Yahoo Answers and WikiAnswers and Answerbag, etc. etc. - it's much easier to view and search for questions in a traditional manner. That same model though doesn't translate to generating increased participation of members on the site.

I.E. if I type SQL, I get a Google-like search box style page minus suggestions. If I type SQL in Quora, I may get a poorer view because there's no text box but rather an auto-real time updating suggestion pop-up down box. (Think typing in FARR)

Quora solves this issue though by having tags that are just as much keywords ala Facebook which serves as the "search result page" equivalent of StackOverflow.

Bottomline though, StackOverFlow's system if used generally is going to be much easier to share in public because like many listings such as Delicious, Stack is just a big tagged list of questions.

This doesn't quite work this way though because Quora understands and is banking on long tail Google search as the way to discover Quora answers.

That is, they don't put enough faith that someone is going to treat Q&A site like Delicious.com where I type Delicious.com to skip Google's poorer results.

They are banking someone is going to type a search on Google and because of Quora's high signal vs. noise answers, the page appears without someone searching on Quora itself.

To off-set the sharing problem and short term searching of things to answer, Quora relies heavily on member only features.

This means you'll have a hard time searching for a big list of questions currently but if your question has been asked before WHILE you created the question as a member, it can be re-directed.

Similarly instead of wondering what questions you know the answer to, just follow a topic you want and Quora will show a feed of the recent combo of questions containing your interests while using a notification system to alert you if someone adds an answer, comments on your answer, etc. etc.

It's feel is slightly synonymous to Twitter but it actually works better because the system is much closer to Reddit if you ever participated in that service as a member (I dubbed the system the red message box of ingenuity - Reddit's that is) although the system is also quite different.

The problem with Quora as a general knowledge base though is that in Quora's desire to adhere to signal over noise, they tend to under-estimate how many users will feel bothered by someone editing their post.

In StackOverFlow's system, your question is yours but on a public page.

In Quora just like in most Wikis, your question and answer is still yours theoretically but it feels like someone else's because people WILL edit your post and it can be discontenting until you realize, so far no one is abusing it. The question remains though whether it can scale through abuse.
Logged

<reserve space for the day DC can auto-generate your signature from your personal PopUp Wisdom quotes>
Paul Keith
Member
**
Posts: 1,982


see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2010, 06:32:48 AM »

Edit: Although this wasn't the reason given for my account suspension, it seems highly unlikely that my fake name didn't contribute to this so just a warning for those considering joining Quora - the real name requirement still holds.

(It was still in the Terms of Service but at the time of this review, I've been participating in Quora for quite a while without even being warned so I assumed they have been much more lenient in that aspect of the rules.)
Logged

<reserve space for the day DC can auto-generate your signature from your personal PopUp Wisdom quotes>
Paul Keith
Member
**
Posts: 1,982


see users location on a map View Profile WWW Read user's biography. Give some DonationCredits to this forum member
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2010, 08:15:34 AM »

Last edit, promise!

Quote
Suspended Accounts still work! - Not sure whether this is an important feature to others but as a person who often gets in trouble with his posting style and lack of knowledge, I tend to create blogs where I post my replies there instead of directly answering under a comment thread and while it's still a habitual process to not post directly and just blog about it, one of the flaws I felt with push notification systems is that if you're not directly replying underneath the page, you lose much of the "updated" ness of the question. A suspended account is still vastly limited because as far as I can see there's no notification aside from someone voting up an answer you posted prior to being suspended (so no e-mail notifications there) but the cool thing is that the feed updates seems to still be working as well as the follow option. Therefore if someone like app votes an answer, I still see it in my feed which is kind of cool as it makes having a suspended Quora account slightly better than having no account at all.
Logged

<reserve space for the day DC can auto-generate your signature from your personal PopUp Wisdom quotes>
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Reply  |  New Topic  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
   Forum Home   Thread Marks Chat! Downloads Search Login Register  

DonationCoder.com | About Us
DonationCoder.com Forum | Powered by SMF
[ Page time: 0.053s | Server load: 0.08 ]