February 25, 2011

Quora Promotes Rating Answers To Improve Responses

One of the biggest steps for Quora as it gains increased use and visibility outside of the Silicon Valley niche is to try and maintain high quality answers to questions despite massive scale. With traffic spiking after a few months of intense visibility, there's no question the site's team and assigned moderators can't be expected to separate the wheat from the chaff for every question.

For the service to succeed through scale, the Quora community will need to pull more of the weight, starting with providing explicit feedback for answers to questions, as those without any upvotes or downvotes don't deliver feedback to the system, and are orphaned.

A New Button Awaits You In Quora

Quora recently added the option to "Rate New Answers" in a prominent place on the service's front page, to the right of the Q&A feed. When I visited this evening, I found 25 answers, which had not yet been rated by the community, waiting for an upvote or downvote from me.

Quora Reminds Me Why Rating Answers Is Good for Us All

If you do click to rate new answers, Quora says you are doing your part to help the best answers be discovered. When one is rated, click Next to rate another, until your batch (my 25) are completed. Assuming a good amount of the population rates a solid number of answers, the likelihood that answers will lay fallow without any feedback will be dramatically reduced. If the quality of the upvoting and downvoting remains strong, it's another explicit signal that will help Quora maintain high value.

Getting Started With My Rating Process (and a Guide to Choose)

Keep in mind that while it may feel like community service, those you do upvote will be listed in your Quora site activity, so it's not exactly invisible. If you're someone who wants to keep your activity feed pristine, on topics you've sought out yourself, you might want to not participate, but that'd be a little OCD now, wouldn't it?

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