2 weeks ago i got my account blocked on Quora, so i decided to write something mean about them, you know, like what TC writers do, but then i said to myself i’m better than that …
Quora is a website founded in 2009 by by two former Facebook employees, Adam D’Angelo (owns 0.8% of Facebook stock valued at $400 million) and Charlie Cheever. So far the company have raised $61 million in funds ($20 million by Adam D’Angelo).
The best way it can be described would probably be as a social network of information, and maybe the best site to kill time and learn some new stuff (that normally you won’t bother searching for).
Very recently, Quora introduced Reviews, thus letting users review places, movies, products, books etc … you’ll say what is wrong with that? Well, nothing except the fact that this startup is burning all it’s cards at once and is good at none.
Quora.com was initially launched as a Question/Answer site (yeah there’s hundreds of these), after a brief success, it started to suffer from getting new users, the real question was: why would anyone go to quora to find an answer? Chances are they won’t get any! Instead it’s maybe better to use more popular answer sites like Yahoo Answers, or even specific forums when the question is specific.
As a result of decreasing interest, it seams the well financed company decided to offer a different user experience, so it began to imitate Pinterest with Boards, earlier this year it introduced blogs and hence became a blogging platform as-well, and now the new reviewing feature make it compete with Yelp & IMDb as well as hundreds of other review sites!
Now that we had a quick look at Quora’s evolution, let’s see what is really wrong with this start-up!
The answer is simply “GREED“, because of it not even one of these so called features is as it should be!
- Wants you to waste time answering questions for useless credits;
- If by chance you promote in a way your business with your answer, the answer will be buried;
- All links on site are no follow, thus from bloggers/ webmasters point of view, there’s no interest to create content on this site;
- Furthermore, to understand the greedy mentality, once you create a question, it is no longer yours … the user that created the question can no longer delete it, and can not even choose the best answer!
- Will not pass PR, like questions are no follow as-well, it’s even the first time i ever find a nofollow blogging platform, thus why would you even consider using Quora to blog, if the Quora Administration fail to understand that now the users expect to connect and link to their websites/blogs, then it fails to understand the basics of marketing.
- Why all links are no follow, you may ask! the answer as before is “Greed”, creating content will make search engines love you, with normal links, you send a bit of love to the websites you link to, with nofollow links you keep all the love on Quora blog and spread it to the network.
- Lack the key ingredient review sites have, which is being specific;
- On Quora any user can fake review a dozens of sites + movies + books + shops + restaurants in less than an hour;
- What makes a review site valuable is that people reviewing signed up to review, while on Quora any Troll can review whatever he/she wants.
Add to all the above,
- That Quora require you to use real name (and you should prove your name, by connecting linkedin, twitter, facebook etc.. ), if you don’t use real name or don’t verify your name you are not allowed to use the site;
- And the absolutely funny part is that moderators can remove anonymity off users whenever they want , so if you ask a delicate question anonymously (something you don’t want to ask to anyone you actually know because it might embarrass you) and then the moderators for some reason remove your anonymity (yes they do that!), and with the inability to delete your question, you would create a big embarrassment for yourself because your Quora question will rank high in google with your name, and people will probably find it if they search your name online!
Some people raised privacy concerns about the site, Blogger Ivan Kirigin pointed out that it was possible for acquaintances to see his activity including which questions he had looked at. Thus by default, Quora exposes its users’ profiles, including their personal names, to search engines.
Below you can read some more criticism from a supposed high profile venture capitalist: