This is a special shout-out to … oh, I can’t notify the head of Quora ontology, because he’s blocked me.
OK, those are the fortunes of war. Fine. This is a special shout-out to the rest of you.
So I start creating a topic for my home suburb: Oakleigh. I start typing and see “Oakleigh East, Victoria” and “Oakleigh South, Victoria”, and I figure, “oh, ok, better make it “Oakleigh, Victoria”.
Topic created. I can’t tell Quora that this is a town, because I don’t have topic admin privileges. Fair enough, the great unwashed can’t be trusted with ontology is-a statements; you have to be a certified accredited topic gnome (presumably not blocked by relevant staff) to do that kind of thing. If I was the head of Quora ontology, I’d do the same, I guess.
I try to make Oakleigh, Victoria a child of Melbourne.
Melbourne’s blocked, because blocked topics are a thing, and you have to be a certified accredited topic gnome (presumably not blocked by relevant staff) to edit blocked topics.
OK, that’s how they play, let’s see if I can work around it.
Oh, so all the suburbs of Melbourne are listed as children of the parent of Melbourne, Cities and Towns in Victoria.
Not how I woulda done it, but I see the argument, today’s exurb is tomorrow’s suburb, cool.
I make Oakleigh, Victoria a child of Cities & Towns in Victoria.
And I notice that cities & towns in Victoria are all suffixed “, Victoria, Australia.”
OK, I’d better fix that then. Rename Oakleigh, Victoria to Oakleigh, Victoria, Australia.
Computer says No. Topic already exists.
I search the topic Oakleigh, Victoria, Australia in the search box. No result.
So if there’s no topic there… why can’t I rename Oakleigh, Victoria to Oakleigh, Victoria, Australia?
Have you guessed the answer yet?
I didn’t; I gave up, and created my question anyway with the topic I was able to use. I also recounted the story to Miguel Paraz, who was looking forward to my patisserie recommendation.
Miguel has been here longer than me. And he guessed what I didn’t.
https://www.quora.com/topic/Oakl… : the topic was there just fine. The Quora Topic Bot had deleted it.
Although even when Miguel restored the topic, it still doesn’t show up in autocomplete.
So. There’s a range of things that could be a bug or a feature:
- That the Quora Topic Bot doesn’t think my suburb exists.
- That the Quora Topic Organizer doesn’t tell me why I can’t rename my topic to a deleted topic.
- That the Quora Topic Merger doesn’t tell me why I can’t merge my topic to a deleted topic.
- That the Quora UX doesn’t tell me that “, Victoria” as a suffix instead of “, Victoria, Australia” is considered harmful.
- That the Quora UX lets you undelete a topic, but doesn’t add it to autocomplete, so you can’t use an undeleted topic.
Seriously, these may be bugs, or they may be features. I cannot tell any more.
And then there’s these more human-oriented bugs or features.
- That Quora staff can refuse input from people who might, occasionally, be trying to help.
Seriously. Quora staff are users, and as users they can tune out whoever they like; but they are also Quora staff. I’m not convinced that, as staff, they should get to do that. A topic gnome of much longer standing than me constantly has to ask others to do things on their behalf at the Topic Gnomery blog, because they’ve been blocked too. I don’t believe that’s the most efficient way to do topic administration.
I don’t know to what extent any of these are:
I do know that after this week of DeleteDetails-palooza and BadHombreBot-geddon, I have an unusually low patience for the opacity of this UX, even by my standards.
Quora Obtrudes by Nick Nicholas on The Insurgency, I wrote last week. Quora gets in the way of me doing what I want to do here.
Quora now even gets in the way of me trying to help them.
I got the message, Quora. If you don’t want my help, I’m not helping you. I’ll leave the gnoming to others.