Is Quora a social media site?

I can tell why the question was posed, which amuses me.

Clearly Quora is a Social Media site: there is interaction between members of the kind we recognise from Social Media. And clearly all respondents so far have said “duh, of course it is.”

But that was not the intent of The Founders. The Founders wanted a serious Expert forum, Enhancing the World’s Knowledge, and Able to Serve as a Substitute for Google and/or Wikipedia.

To The Founders, any of this socialising crap has been a distraction. If you wanted socialising, you know where to find Facebook. In fact, they know where to find Facebook, since that’s where they came from.

That’s why the Top Writer cabals are set up on Facebook, not here. That’s why the social media functionality on Quora is rudimentary. That’s why The Founders, if they had their way, would have done away with comments, and with the unwashed masses contributing.

(Because that worked out so well with Citizendium.)

(OK, that’s an unfair comparison; Quora weren’t seeking out academics as experts at the start: they were the experts themselves. Which is why in 2010, Quora was Silicon Valley and Startups, 24/7.)

The stated intent of The Founders was that it not be a Socialising site, and Quorans who agree with the Founders’ agenda take a dim view of “The Other Quora” (Indians using Quora much more like a Social Media site). The downgrading of comments (deletable, not sharable, not searchable) and Blogs (not googlable, hidden as a misfeature) are also consistent with this orientation.

The Earth however does continue to move. Eppur si muove.

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