Why did Quora remove the “Add Follow-Up Question” feature?
We don’t know; there’s only one sarcastic response, and someone has already merged that question with Why did Quora remove the ability to add question details when you add the question (or any other time)? (asked August 2014)
Charlie Cheever’s answer to What were “follow-up questions” on Quora, and how did they work? (2010, with preface in 2012)
Hah! Charlie! The Olde Foundere! Remember him?
Follow up questions were a feature on Quora that existed from the early days of the site until some time in January 2010. Below is a description of how the feature worked. You’ll still sometimes see in question details “This is a follow up question to [some other linked question]” which is a remnant of this feature.
And I wonder how much of the following will be preserved in the new iteration of the feature?
Follow-up questions are the same as any other question on Quora except that, when a follow up question is added to the site, a few things happen to make it more convenient to add a similar question.
- The topics from the original question are suggesed for the follow-up question.
- The question details of the follow-up question start off with the text “This is a follow-up question to <link-to-the-original-question>.”
- The original question is added as a related question to the follow-up question.
- Followers of the original question are notified that a new follow-up question has been added.
Once a follow up question is created, it is just the same as any other question on the site.
This means it should be able to stand on its own as a question and, as much as possible, make sense and be clear outside of the context of the original question.
A follow-up question is not a request for clarification on the original question; i.e. “What do you mean by ‘derivative works?'” or similar would not make a good follow-up question since it doesn’t make any sense outside of the context of the original question. The best place for requests for clarification on the original question is in the comments on the original question.
So, some workflowing, but not really follow-ups so much as “this also occurred to me”, since they are meant to be consumed independently of the original.
Also, Achilleas Vortselas’ answer to What is a follow-up question on Quora? (2011)
Follow-Up Questions were a feature of Quora which was removed at some point (see Why did Quora remove the “Add Follow-Up Question” feature? ). You could use a link (similar to the ones that appear below the question details) to add a follow-up question, which automatically included a backlink to the original question. People who liked using that feature are still adding the backlinks to the details section when they ask a follow-up question. It must be also noted that, while nowadays it is easy to create a new question right as you’re typing inside any comment section, by typing @, that functionality was not originally there.
Follow-up questions need to link back to the original question to give the reader some necessary context.
Ahah. So there was more of a point to them back then, because links were harder. (Although I just search paste the link to a question, myself, at-mentions are awkward for questions.)
And what are some unintended and ludicrous potential side-effects of this functionality?
I’m glad you asked:
June Lin’s answer to What is the longest chain of follow-up questions on Quora? (2010)
What does it feel like to be attractive and desired by many?
- Why do some people have a deluded sense of their own attractiveness?
- What does it feel like to be constantly deceived by your peers?
- What does it feel like to be unattractive and desired by none? -> What does it feel like to be stupid? , What does it feel like to be found attractive only by people whom you find terribly unattractive? , Are extremely attractive women flattered or annoyed by the fact that they get stared at all the time?
- What does it feel like to be moderately attractive and madly desired by some?
- What does it feel like to kill a moose? -> What does a moose burger taste like?
- What does it feel like to have multiple personalities?
- What does it feel like to be sexually attracted to no one at all? -> What does it feel like to be attracted to no one in particular?
- What does it feel like to be attracted to many people at once?
- If Sean Kingston and Justin Bieber (musician) were to fight over the same girl, who would win?
There are probably more.
Not to mention:
Neeraj Agrawal’s answer to How do I view the list of follow-up questions of a question that is followed-up? (2011)
Follow up questions are no longer supported as a product feature. See: Why did Quora remove the “Add Follow-Up Question” feature?
The text in question details stating “This is a follow-up question to ….” can be added by any user and is not treated differently than any other text.
So, there is no easy way to view list of follow-up questions of a question.
EDIT: From Comments:
I’m glad to see you’re following up on this!
The jokes, they really do write themselves…
It’s quite possible that this feature is in fact a reincarnation of the old feature that simply showed up because their code got mixed up again. And, you know how features come and go (repeat) according to some unimaginable schedule, perhaps this feature was programmed to reappear now and someone forgot to cancel it.
Hee. So what’s worse:
- A code feature burbles back up to the surface from 6 years ago, much like a mastodon from beneath the thawing Siberian permafrost, unleashing who knows what extinct germs from the Pliocene back into the ecology.
- Cheever has planted a time bomb or two into the Quora code, that randomly unleash obsolete features to keep his successors on their toes.
- The Quora design staff, some of whom may still have been in primary school in 2010, have accidentally reinvented this feature.