Friday, April 01, 2011

I'm not getting Quora

I signed up for Quora because many geeks won't shut up about it. Blah blah blah algorithms, blah blah blah game changing, blah blah blah powerful search engine ranking. Whatever. Naturally, I had to check it out.
My experience thus far has been underwhelming. When you are searching for answers, you just need a quick answer, not a dissertation or thirty. Most answers to questions I've seen are long essays full of personal opinions, anecdotes, and discussions. Who has time for that?
The main problem is that many of the questions are statements in question form. In addition, questions aren't really single questions, they are multiple questions with only one question mark at the end. To get anything out of it, you have to read a series of answers that may or may not even attempt to answer the question(s), or go off on an entirely different direction. 
I read the guides on how to use Quora. Nobody follows the guide; nor do I.
If everybody used the service as it was intended, I could see how Quora would be useful. As it stands, the sensation I get is that of an opinionated mob at the other end. I'm already opinionated, I don't need more of it. I need answers.
I can see the intent of Quora; but, what I'm getting out of it is a completely different experience. 
The questions I have are practical. How do I edit the template for SuchNSuch CMS? Does anybody sell the recovery disks for a specific computer model? What are possible causes of a Windows machine hanging at mup.sys on bootup?
I did ask one question, "How long can I record audio in Evernote?" I could not find the answer anywhere online. An Evernote employee answered the question, 90 minutes. Done. 
If that's what others were doing, Quora would be much more useful for me. As it is now, it's too much noise and too much of a time sink. While it may have excellent SEO, I value time and good, actionable information. Google addresses those nicely.

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