The Magister Michael Masiello has done what Quora is best for—even if it is expressly against the intent of the Founders. He has taken a humdrum question, and turned into a hymn to sodality: Michael Masiello’s answer to What do you value more on Quora, views, upvotes, or followers? Why?
And I’m not saying that because he namechecked me. After all, I NEVER GOT NOTIFICATION OF THE NAME CHECK! AGAIN!
I concur with him (and Habib le toubib before him): the comments show true engagement; the comments are what give me both delight and instruction; the comments matter most of all. If D’Angelo had had his way and done away with comments, as is rumoured (God knows where I read that, because Quora Search)—then I would not have stayed here.
Of the rest, almost noone cares about views, clearly—and I found Mani Duraisamy’s answer, with its preference for views as an objective criterion, puzzling.
As Joachim Pense has said somewhere (and I’m sure many others have), upvotes are a kind of currency among friends, an acknowledgement of reading; if anything, it’s my withholding of upvotes from my cabal that communicates something, not my upvote. (And likewise, when I notice a friend doesn’t upvote something I thought they’d read, I get somewhat antsy.) The more valued upvotes are from people I don’t follow. Although if they keep upvoting, I end up following them anyway.
But highly upvoted answers seem just as subject to fads and randomness as highly viewed answers, so I don’t particularly pay it that much attention. I know what my best work is, and it’s usually not my most popular.
I do like the notion of having an impact, but for me the easiest way of gauging that is still follower count.