Will (and should) Quora ever pay its content creators?

John L. Miller’s answer:

If I give you a computer because I like giving people computers, that makes me happy. If I give you a computer because you’re paying me $50, I no longer have the joy of giving AND it is worth more to me than $50 (even if no one else will pay anything for it), so I’m losing money and unhappy.

  • Per John L. Miller’s answer: If I wanted to get paid a humiliatingly low amount for my intellectual output, I’d be spending even more time on Upwork. In fact, I’d spend time on Fiverr; I’d likely make more money there than the 20c I’d get out of Quora.
    • Nah. I’d write another monograph. Even that’d give me more money than Quora is likely to.
  • If you thought the fissures in the Quora community are bad now, you should see what’d happen if people started getting paid. The strikes. The complaints about no pay. The conspiracy theories. The accusations of collusion with Quora management. It would destroy what community and good faith there is here. People would go postal.
  • Re Jon Davis’ answer: Quality? Monetisation would drive up quality?! It would drive up the pablum populist crap we already get on the Digest and the Facebook feed. (Why yes, I have had some answers go to the Digest. I didn’t get any answers as good as mine fed to me, while I was subscribed to the Digest.) And Wikipedia did not need monetary incentives to get where it is.
    • And quality on YouTube as a paradigm for the quality monetisation would bring to Quora? I’d like to think my content on Quora aspires to be more like a Wikipedia post (or at least a science blog) than like a YouTube how-to video.
  • I write here because it’s fun. If money were to come into it, it would no longer be fun. It would be a job, and it would make me much more overtly beholden to the bumbling behemoths of Mountain View. My employer already owns my soul; some of us still want a venue where our souls can be unfettered.

Will they? Doubt it: it’d be a logistical and community nightmare. Answers from three years ago, when monetisation was but a twinkle in D’Angelo’s eye, thought it unlikely in the foreseeable future, and pointed out that noone was asking for it anyway. I’m not convinced that many more people are asking for it now.

Should they? It doesn’t advance Quora’s agenda. It undermines my agenda. I come back to John Miller’s answer: it’d take the fun out, and whatever we got in recompense would be insulting—like a $50 computer.

I come back to the question details:

Quora doesn’t currently have any revenue, but when it does start making money, will/should some of that revenue be shared with the writers who create the content (or even with just a few of the best writers, whose answers bring in lots of views)?

I am already uneasy with the notion of Top Writers, and even more with the air of entitlement of too many Old Planter Top Writers, and the fact that Quora staff give the appearance of only talking to them. If, on top of that, Quora were to arbitrarily pick the most popular hundred writers, pay them, and not pay anyone else… my God. Those writers had better disable their comments if that happened: their life on Quora would not be worth living.

Those of you who don’t think there is community to Quora might like that proposal. I want no part of it on any Quora I’m on. It’d be the ἀρχέκακος ὄφις: the serpent at the root of all evil. 1 Timothy 6:10.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *