With the constant flood of new “social media” sites, Quora adds itself to the list of sites you can’t trust. If you’ve never went there, consider yourself lucky. I’m currently trying to assess if any of the ETFs I hold have any stake in that dog. It’s destined to become a not-fond memory of the Internet.
During the pandemic I got invited to participate on Quora. I was doing some coding on RedDiamond and helping out on the family farm, so I thought, why not? The urge to finish writing one of the four books that I’m writing simply wasn’t within me. For that urge to really take hold I need to be working out of state and trapped in my corporate housing unit during non-work hours. You know, like being in Minnesota in the winter.
In the beginning
The first thing you have to do is turn off all feeds. Quora will bury you with “new question spam.” You literally couldn’t get anything done. Once I trimmed it down so that only one little piece of Quora could send me questions or a digest, it wasn’t too bad. There were a few dozen old IT guys answering questions from noobs and Quora, at that time, favored long answers. We are talking the longer and more pictures, the better. Answers well over a thousand words were common and well received.
The mission for Quora: is to share and grow the world’s knowledge
Early on, it seemed like they were at least attempting to do that. At least in the corner I went into, talking about IT and IT careers, there was a bunch of us with 30+ years in IT giving career advice and answering technical questions in long form.
Then Quora turned to shit
Someone actually did this. They focused on a tiny aspect of the site. Then they tried to make money based on that. Oh, 2017 is the only year I could find decent financial information for Quora. This down and out dog is losing its ass with both hands. Whoever came up with a $2 billion valuation of that dog was imbibing chemicals not legal in any country.
This was the first catastrophe.
When they did that we got “How much can I make” 32,767 times per day. It appeared there was absolutely no duplicate checking going on. If someone changed one word they could get the same question in yet again.
Open the Quora septic tank
Somewhere along the line Quora completely abandoned its mission and started having “promoted questions and content.” I kid you not. They even have documentation on how to track your promoted questions and content. You can’t make shit like this up.
The IT area I was hanging out in then began alternating between “How much can I make with insert-language-here?” to “What is the best boot camp for insert-something-here?” Yes, it appears the boot camp scam artists were “promoting their content” by having a few hundred people each day ask the same boot camp questions over and over again.
Enter the Editors
For the most part, prior to these stupid management decisions, things went well. You can imagine just how honked off the boot camp hawkers were getting the same response to a person from seasoned professionals.
There is no “best boot camp for” anything. You cannot learn enough by attending a single boot camp to actually do anything useful in IT, let alone get a good paying job. All you can learn in an N-day or K-week boot camp is the syntax of a particular language and a tiny bit about the primary IDE. That’s it. You cannot learn anything about the fundamentals of IT or actual problem solving. You aren’t paid to “code in” a particular language, you are paid to design a solution to a problem then code said solution. You are missing the “how to solve problems” part of your education.
Yes, someone with 15 years of COBOL/FORTRAN/insert-3GL-here who went to college for an actual degree in IT and learned the fundamentals can get a lot out of a boot camp. All they are looking to learn is the syntax and tools. They already Know how to solve problems. You, never been to school, can’t get anything useful out of one.
So, that went over like a lead balloon with the scammers paying Quora. Without any real announcement they started adding “editors” from the lowest wage pool. There would be no notification your answer got changed. A thousand words got trimmed down to three sentences that had nothing to do with the question because the attention span of the incompetent couldn’t hang around for more than three sentences. I can’t tell you just how many times I saw them cut the actual answer out while leaving in some oatmeal pre-amble.
People who actually answered questions started leaving
You betcha. People started leaving in large enough numbers for Quora to come out with “Make Money with Quora” for question answers. You had to sign up for some kind of payment service (which I didn’t) and you had to flag your answers as free or revenue generating.
I gave this a try for three months after flagging some of my more popular answers and all new answers as revenue generating. By the end of the third month I had a “Congratulations your answers have been viewed by 14,000 this month.” The number was over 14,000, but I don’t remember what and don’t have a screen shot. Guess how much I earned over three months with boo-coo answers?
$7.48. You had to have earnings of at least $10 before you got paid. #cancelQuora
Quora is a hunk of shit to be avoided. Hopefully it will go under soon.
The initial intent was good. Management is looking up at worthless hoping to one day add that much value.