Whatever happened to Quora?

Quora VS Yahoo Answers - a Venn DiagramRemember Quora?

Yeah, that Quora. I know. It’s been a while.

Quora was a social media hype darling earlier this year because it was basically a cleaner version of Yahoo Answers that Robert Scoble wouldn’t stop answering questions on. Everyone thought it was the next big thing, and every other “social media expert” was on there trying to make the other “experts” look stupider then they were.

That’s what I call thought leadership.

Quora is now a barren wasteland. The content that appears at the top of my feed is from December and January, almost a full year ago. The topics are no longer relative or timely, and I doubt anyone is still pointing to answers from AOL’s Steve Case as a reason to go hangout on Quora.

We can only relive the 1990s and 56k modems for so long.

I feel bad for Quora. It’s likely going to die a slow and painful death, failing to monetize and keep users interested. The fact is we don’t need a social network to ask random questions and pray that we get “expert” answers. Google does a pretty good job of finding the information you need, or we can use our existing social networks to ask the same questions of the same people.

Yes, you can use your social networks to ask questions. Isn’t that charming and novel?

So, goodbye, Quora. It was good while the hype lasted, but we’ve all got better things to do. My aunt just posted some cute photos of her new puppies on Facebook. That’s way more interesting than self-promoting “experts” trying to trump one another on a social network no one cares about.

Are you still using Quora? Is anyone? And what are you wearing to the funeral? I don’t want to be caught wearing the same thing as anyone else.


17 Responses to Whatever happened to Quora?

  1. Christine October 19, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    I stopped using Quora before stopping was cool. I also found the name annoying to say. It has the same appeal as “rural juror.”

    • Jay October 19, 2011 at 11:46 am #

      I used Quora for about two weeks. I also found it useful for some work research once.

  2. Camilo Olea October 19, 2011 at 11:08 am #


    No, seriously, I believe I got an invite, created my account, checked it out 1 day, and never came back.

    And to think how it has hyped by the “experts”… they all shouted that it was the next big thing since sliced bread, or something.

    • Jay October 19, 2011 at 11:48 am #

      I think they forgot you can ask questions in any box you can type text in.

  3. Phil H October 19, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    Never used it. Although I remember using yahoo answers for almost every decision I made, now I completely rely on Facebook for opinions and Google for answers.

    • Jay October 19, 2011 at 11:49 am #

      I remember when Yahoo! Answers ranked well in Google. That was scary.

      • Ellie K January 8, 2012 at 5:54 am #

        Do not be so hasty to judge Yahoo! Answers. I just saw a Quora answer that had a source citation to a four year old Yahoo! Answers post. There is a ton of crud on Yahoo! Answers, but it is scary how much decent information there is too. I hope Yahoo! doesn’t go out of business or get carved up and sold in bits and pieces. Seriously, some of the most amusing internet content can be found on Yahoo! Answers, you are so right.

        I like your website name, by the way. It is clever! And the design, fonts and colors choices are great. I’m happy I found my way here while poking through other people’s Delicious (ummm Avos?) bookmarks tonight!

  4. Claire Wagner October 19, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    I am grateful not to have to be concerned about this site in addition to too many others… I didn’t like the interface or the purpose anyway. I appreciate the attempt, just not the hype.

    • Jay October 19, 2011 at 11:50 am #

      The interface is awful. It reminds me of the 90s in a bad way.

  5. Ashley Sue Bullers @AshleySue October 19, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    Uh. Quora was terrible. All these people were chattering in my Twitter feed about it being the next big thing. I hopped aboard and created an account. I asked one question ~ a rather vague one, but was looking for some ideas, and being that Quora was supposed to be thought leadership, I thought, “why not?”

    So, I asked a question about choosing an interior design style (I know, deep, right?), and categorized it in design. Instantly, some “expert” recategorized it to psychology. PSYCHOLOGY. I ask about choosing colors for our curtains and paint, and the expert deems it psychology? Then the lame answers began. Apparently, I am too dumb for Quora. I am too dumb to see where Quora was any better - the answers seemed the exact same to me as what dribble I would have found on YahooAnswer.

    Goodbye Quora. You killed eight minutes of my time. Now, we would like to kill you. (No pity here.)

    • Jay October 19, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

      Moved to psychology? People are nuts.

      • Ashley Sue Bullers @AshleySue October 19, 2011 at 11:31 pm #

        No no no, Jay. On Quora, they are experts. Experts would know better than to be nuts. Particularly when it comes to psychology.

        • Jay October 20, 2011 at 7:48 am #

          Oh! I get it now.

          • Ashley Sue Bullers @AshleySue October 20, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

            Happy to be of service. You know, they had to school me first. Then I got what experts they must be!

  6. Brian McDonald October 19, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    But they just created an iPhone app! How can they die so quickly after finally getting a mobile presence! 😉

    • Jay October 19, 2011 at 8:08 pm #

      Wow, that’s like 12 months too late. Didn’t they know I wanted to ask questions about obscure start ups front he late 1990s on the go?

  7. Dean October 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    Here’s the thing though Jay, its the very social media “experts” dissing Quora today that were touting it 9 months ago. You know, after they raved about Path before dismissing Path , and before raving about Google+ before abandoning Google+

    The social media landscape has become a short-attention span, chase the shiny object, promote a tool before you use a tool mentality. Hell, I don’t think Google + was out a week before Chris Brogan was showing people how they should use it for business (WTF?).

    As for Quora, I never saw it as anything more than a tool to get know-it-alls to Google something you were too lazy to Google yourself 😛

    As an aside, I was able to give some great advice to someone on Wrestling a Great White Shark on Quora, so I don’t think you criticism of Quota is completely valid 😛 (ok maybe I was mocking Quora at the time)