My daily readings 09/14/2011

  • tags: Q&A community

    • To be honest I don’t really think Stack Exchange and Quora are the same thing. Or, to be jargonny, “we’re not in the same space.”

      Quora is Yahoo!Answers done really well… it’s more social and bloggy, and it’s for chat and subjective questions. It’s kind of like Twitter in a Q&A format with long, blog-type answers. It’s full of VCs and tech journalists, unlike Yahoo!Answers which is full of teenagers asking questions about reproduction in mammals.

      Stack Exchange is more a reference tool… something you use when you NEED a specific answer to an actual question that actually has an answer. We’re the reference section of the library, they’re an awesome salon where smart people are shootin’ the shit.

    • Stack Exchange is mostly Questions & Answers

      Quora is mostly Questions & Opinions

    • Go to and you can instantly see what kind of questions are being asked and answered. The UI may feel a little cluttered, but the information is there. Hang out for a few more minutes and you can appreciate the value of this service. You might as well sign up and start using it.

      Go to and you’re asked to log in or create an account. No idea what’s behind that login. Not even a search bar. Since there isn’t any useful page that I can browse to, I might as well just contribute to their bounce rate. Why would I create yet another online account without even knowing what the benefits are?

    • Part of the reason for quora to do that might be to limit their user base to people who already know what it is (people who are referred)

      Exposing what it is and making it really easy for anyone to sign up will make it degrade into yahoo answers in no time.

      Stack overflow on the other hand embraces new programmers asking and finding answers to questions because they’re all going to be related to programming (if not it gets modded down really quickly). Quora doesn’t have that niche/topic restriction and is much easier to troll.

    • Unfortunately for them, what really attracted people to quora originally was more that the initial users were an interesting group of people, than anything particularly unique that the software was doing. Now that everyone and their dog has an account, the really interesting stuff is rather harder to find, for the moment; their challenge is dealing with that before “no one goes there anymore; it’s too crowded.”

    • Boy, this is exactly what I have been thinking! Quora gets all the press (and it is a great service), but Stack Overflow/Exchange have been so much more helpful to me because of its specificity. Plus, Stack’s game mechanics really work on me and encourage me to want to write good answers and help people.
    • Is anyone on Forrst? Their service looks like something I woudl like. On the technology end, it looks easy to post images and code for the purpose of discussion, and that would make my life a little easier. The community looks like one I’d like to be a part of, too.

      On the other hand, I’m currently re-working my own blog and am really enjoying designing the front end and tooling the backend to fit my needs precisely. It’s a labor of love and I don’t want to let it languish.

      If you’ve used forrst, what do you like about it? What don’t you like?

    • Quora is killing itself.

      Quora wants my information before it lets me take a peak. I have never made it past the homepage of Quora as I don’t want to logon to a site without knowing what is in there. I think there are several more people like me who are avoiding it fr the same reason

      I never see Quora in the results’ sites when I type in a question in Google search bar. Instead I find yahoo answers, in the results.

  • tags: Q&A community

    • Over 80 percent of questions get a good answer, Mr. Spolsky wrote, and many of the new Stack Exchange sites have 100 percent answer rates. One of the issues with Quora, a well-funded Bay Area startup founded by former Facebook employees, is the high number of unanswered questions.


      One way to solve this problem, Mr. Spolsky realized, was to separate Q&A sites by topic—that way each site attracts a more engaged group.

    • “We learned a long time ago that the only way to get questions answered promptly is to have a critical mass of knowledgeable users, so we have an onerous process called Area 51 where sites are proposed, discussed, and voted on. If a proposed site doesn’t have critical mass, we just won’t create it. Even if it does get created, it has to maintain a certain level of traffic and quality or we’ll close it down,” he said.
  • tags: presentation

  • tags: math

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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