Evolution is confusing to users, but inherent within Quora's transition is a view towards the long term. This exploration aims to provide some structure to this discussion. The value of Quora's platform is now as a social wrapper for long form content.
Quora's features can be divided into
a) Content Generation:
mechanisms for generating/liberating long form content
- Embellishment of content with images, links, formatting, structured references
b) Content Discovery:
mechanisms for discovery for long form content by an audience
- Related content
c) Content Quality:
mechanisms for the ensuring the quality of content
- social proof
and implicit signals of such behavior such as view counts, weighting viewers and their interests, and positive and negative interactions.
I believe Quora's product direction will be driven by deepening on these three axes.
For example improving content generation will happen through new vehicles for introducing long form content to audiences. Rap Genius (website)
stated intention was to be the internet's Talmud
. By incorporating features for annotation of content, Quora can start to incorporate more long-form content. After all, isn't annotation part of liberating the world's knowledge. Similarly, Pinterest has carved out a successful platform for the structuring of images. Will we see Quora integrate the ability to make more visual forms of knowledge annotated within this structure?
Quora has already created effective channels for discovery of content, which makes sense in light of increasing the ways in which long form content can be generated, but we can expect to see more end points within Quora, as well as through search and the stream where content can be discovered. As an example on my profile, how can new users see related content to what I have interacted with? Or similar blogposts through topic modeling, and integrating signals for implicit value based on user interaction.
The most exciting concept is what will happen with the network effect? We already see how posts are quickly edited and moderated by the crowd. How will the structure enable content to be proof read in real time and for additional points of view.
These product decisions will have to be made with the end mission in mind but by reducing the friction for long form content to find an audience, and for authors to accumulate a reputation with little effort, it has certainly peaked my own psychological interest in writing again.