Quora Says It Will Expand Beyond Question-and-Answer Format

By Cameron Scott 

quora, social networks, social networking, In a end-of-year blog post, Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo hinted that the question-and-answer platform will move into “other formats” in an attempt to bring more knowledge online and searchable.

“Today Quora is largely questions and answers, but that is not the ideal format for all knowledge. Other formats will gradually be added as we scale up,” D’Angelo wrote.

Quora declined to provide details.

D’Angelo description of Quora’s mission reflected the same ideal that many other companies are endeavoring to deliver to users: quick access to quality information.

“The vast majority of human knowledge is still not on the internet. Most of it is trapped in the form of experience in people’s heads, or buried in books and papers that only experts can access,” D’Angelo wrote.

“The internet was supposed to allow anyone to set up a web page and share their knowledge with the world. But in practice it’s too difficult and takes too long and almost no one does it. Blogs are easy to start, but unless the author is famous, it takes years to build a following. More than a billion people use the internet yet only a tiny fraction contribute their knowledge to it,” he continued.

Google’s Knowledge Graph is an effort to deliver cultural knowledge quickly. Twitter co-founder Ev Williams is attempting to surface quality information in blog format with his latest venture, Medium. Next-gen annotation services like Findery are picking up where bookmarking services like Delicious left off, trying to help users store their own knowledge digitally in ways they can easily find later.

Is D’Angelo’s just a utopian plaint? Well, Quora has shown significant growth in 2012, moving from 70,000 topics to 250,000. (The company declined to share user numbers.) But Wikipedia offers stiff competition, with 23 million articles and 80,000 active editors.