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257 answers on Quora is another question and answer site

Most sites of this type are awful, eg, Yahoo Answers, with the most coherent being Stack Overflow for coding questions.

Quora is more ambitious. This is not explicitly stated, but the founders want to have their pages at the top of any Google search, and having directed advertising served up on their answer pages. Their ambition is immense, and it may well work.

The key to their success is their real name policy, and a strictly policed anti-troll/spam environment. Most unregulated websites quickly descend into evil pits of controversy.

Quora generally avoids that. Troublemakers are quickly banned. Minor infringements, making disparaging remarks about someone else, get warnings, but there are a few of those in my experience.

The intention is that knowledgeable peoples’ answers get upvoted so the best answer rises to the top.

I discovered Quora when wanting to know what was the best oil to use to fry with. An industrial food technologist answered: use one with a high burning point and doesn’t produce toxic by-products. Coconut oil.

One of the first questions I saw when browsing was how hard does Mark Zuckerberg work?, and the answers started “I sit near Mark at FBHQ so I’ll speak from my experience.”

I started answering questions slowly: I found I had some knowledge on various subjects. New Zealand, obviously, Australia, self-publishing, etc.

Recently been using some of my original images to illustrate some travel questions. These are getting a good response, ie, decent numbers of views and upvotes.

As usual, any nonconformist answers tend to be ignored, however well-written they might be. Well, they can get lots of views but few upvotes.

After a year or two I have muted loads of topics, people, and build up a number that I was more interested in.

Instead of religion or USA politics, I followed animals and linguistics.

The thing is no one will ever be persuaded to alter their opinion through argumentation. Might as well head to less controversial subjects.

I haven’t yet looked at knitting though.

author | GJ Coop | posted | 29 April 2017
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