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Can Quora Grow Without Sacrificing Quality?

Quora is definitely growing at a fast pace. I know this because of the sudden deluge of follows I’m getting in my email. As Quora becomes more popular and gains users, the fear is that the quality of questions and answers on the service will decline.

The site depends on high-quality answers, and has deliberately kept things small in order to cultivate a knowledgeable community. But can it keep those virtues when membership is exploding and not everyone wants to play by the rules?

Quora is attempting to keep things clean by requiring real names for signups and allowing the community to police the site using the built-in ratings system. This has problems all its own.

On one hand, you’re getting access to insight from some very intelligent a prominent figures. Where else can you get answers to your questions from a Facebook co-founder, Foursquare’s head of business, and the Google Images product manager?

On the other, there is a lot of room for error here as the community grows. Lucretia Pruitt posted what amounts to a Quora etiquette guide which many voted up as useful. Others who took offense or disagreed felt attacked both by the post and the community as their “negative” responses were voted down.

Either the community will be able to keep some level of quality as the site grows, or they will completely alienate new users who want to participate. I remember a similar situation not too long ago with a site called FriendFeed and a guy named Michael Arrington, who felt he was attacked by an online mob.

At this stage, I find Quora very interesting. I like answering questions and learning from smart people. The site hasn’t yet been flooded with questions that begin “DO ANYBODY NO” (yes, with the caps), so it’s definitely still worth a look. Make sure you find me there.

What do you think about Quora?

via GigaOM

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