Fast growing Q&A platform Quora is turning a sharp left and headed towards becoming a blogging platform, with the promise of giving every author a built in audience. How? If you use Quora to blog about outdoor photography, your post will get integrated into Quora Q&A sections about outdoor photography… where there’s an active audience waiting for written content to feed their brains.
But is Quora driving into a ditch?
“The internet was supposed to allow anyone to set up a web page and share their knowledge with the world. But in practice it’s too difficult and takes too long and almost no one does it. Blogs are easy to start, but unless the author is famous, it takes years to build a following. More than a billion people use the internet yet only a tiny fraction contribute their knowledge to it.” - Quora co-founder Adam D’Angelo
I’m confused… is Quora claiming to make it easier to “contribute knowledge” or to help those who already contribute knowledge find an audience? Either way, I smell trouble.
Of the billion people on the internet, 20% or 200 million of them blog — I’d call that fraction hefty rather than tiny.
Unscientifically, I’m going to say, generously, that 5% of those people make good content. Thus, so what if the other 95% of articles don’t get read? They’re probably never going to get read, which means Quora is chasing a problem that doesn’t have a solution… and may not even be a problem in the first place.
Either way you slice it, there are more than enough people blogging, and most of them don’t have audiences because they don’t write anything worth reading. I’m not quite sure how Quora solves any “need” on either side of that coin.
Now, I’m not saying that its not a good thing to help *good* bloggers find an audience — au contraire — but that’s a different need that the ones I think Quora is trying to say they’re providing a solution for, at least from the quote above. Which is a shame, because I actually think that need is a real one, and their inability to articulate it well (or just oversight of it) means that they probably won’t do a good job solving it.
I’m not saying what Quora is doing is wrong, not at all, but its a bit dubious whom they claim to be doing it for.