The Curious Case of Quora

A Quora Story by a newly converted answer contributor

If you are not aware, there is a site called Quora.com, a place where you can ask questions and share in making answers.

It’s that simple.

I’m not advertising this site as some form of media platform shillaber*. You are allowed your own thoughts, take or leave.

Still a proverbial “donkey worker” at time of writing.

*Shillaber. A person(s) who hides in the crowd and is employed by the seller to produce a buying frenzy by stimulating a purchase response in a herd mentality. They were commonly employed in markets and circuses, as well as betting circles. In America in the wild west period they were commonly used by snake oil salesmen. In modern times they are still utilised to talk up platforms, products, services and more, they are known as ‘Shills’. Shills are despised most in video games and movie circles on YouTube, through social media and other media outlets. They are often ‘exposed’, vilified, and ostracised if they continually and positively support shady companies through personal gain.

Why I joined

I joined around 5 years ago roughly. I only posted one answer, and then totally got bogged down with other things.

I had an agenda. Not like some insane person on a quest to conquer the galaxy, more an agenda to push my own platform, my blog. The idea was a good one, but the output was a difficult sell, so I gave up.

What drew me back

I returned to the Quora stable like a horse returns to water. But this time I drank.

I was receiving updates that I never cancelled. I’d been going through a spate of emptying out my inbox, and unsubscribing from mailing lists, in order to improve on my “inbox zero diet” because I’ve been getting used to it. It is surprising how much junk email can waste your time, worse still when you’ve subscribed to it and no longer get a use out of it.

I digress.

It was those emails that drew me back to the platform.

I began laying down some answers, and soon I was hooked.

Between late 2013 and late 2018, Quora has changed

There is definitely something abuzz there.

I’m not sure what has stimulated that.

But I have some observations.

India and a f***-load of Indians

There seem to be a f***-load of Indians on the site. And when I say an f***-load, I mean an f***-load.

Its not a bad thing. But it does explain why there is more going on.

There are an f***-load of Indians in India. So there are an f***-load of Indians that are online.

And as mentioned, that’s no bad thing.

One byproduct of that, is the weird questions that Indians ask in English. They aren’t weird by virtue of being posed weirdly, or being written in broken English. They are weird in terms of asking questions that Westerners don’t ask, or already have an established opinion on so consider stupid, or a proverbial Pandora’s box to answer**.

** — Pandora’s box is actually more likely to have been a canopic jar, not dissimilar to the ones used by the Egyptians around the same period of time. Jars could be sealed easily, whereas boxes weren’t suitable for keeping perishables. Pandora’s jar doesn’t sound as catchy but is more likely to be historically accurate when compared with a box. You’ve learned something today, consider yourself privileged.

More People answering means more adverts

Adverts on Quora are quite noticeable but at least are more discrete than on some platforms. They appear in the answer streams predominantly. They weren’t such a big thing when I joined up in 2013.

There are some fairly knowledgeable individuals on the site to endorse it

These individuals stem from a large swathe of the professional pool. I don’t know if there are any famous Quora contributors on there (other than myself of course) but am sure there may have been some interaction with that in the past.

There is a complex Bot stitching everything together

There is quite a bit of automation going on behind the scenes to improve the content. To make sure that the right contextual answers are featured.

There is some degree of automation to validation of answer integrity so that those reading answers can ‘narc’ an answer that doesn’t cut the mustard.

These answers become collapsed if they don’t meet acceptability criteria. In a similar way that if a response in reddit is downvoted enough, it gets shoved to the bottom. Incidentally, some of the collapsed answers are hilarious japes, don’t take my word for it. Take a look for yourself.

Blogs exist on Quora

Quora has branched out to allow blogs to appear on Quora and share the same ecosystem. These are roughly equivalent to the kind of blog posts you can submit on LinkedIn as an example.

Following is a thing

You can follow and chat with some of your favourite answer makers if you so do choose. An option that wasn’t available back in 2013.

Quora does three things at the moment that annoys the shit out of me

  1. Occasionally some answers become amalgamated into others. If you’ve answered two questions that are similar, Quora will take the answer that did best, and discard the other. I put a fair bit of effort into some answers, so it kind of pisses me off when one is erased in a classic rob Peter to pay Paul situation.
  2. Some answers are amalgamated into questions that don’t match the question’s thread as well. Which either requires you to amend the answer, delete it, or let it run, much to the annoyance of some readers. I got a few laughs out of that though, so despite it being annoying as balls, it has some laugh potential too.
  3. Quora Digest has to drop the A bomb of Brexit questions with a relentless fervor. And to be honest, it is getting on both my manly pectoral adornments, tits to the uninitiated. I made my choice, I voted my vote, I don’t want to hear any more til its done. I don’t want to contribute, I don’t want to read any more. Get it out of my face. F*** off with it. Shove it up your posterior event horizon. Do one. Quora Digest, go suck a liberal c**k.
F**k sake Quora, kiss the EU ring already. BTW am a Doomcock fan.

Problems that some Quora users have, that hasn’t affected me

Obviously Quora is Questions and Answers. You can ask Questions. However, a lot of people complain that their question isn’t getting approved. There are a number of reasons for that. Often they are too vague, or are asking questions that have been asked a million times already (I’m not even exaggerating).

I don’t ask questions. I don’t have this annoying stinging problem.

Some Questions Piss Me Off

Because they are asking for responses that people won’t share. Let’s call it professional advantage. Wanting something for nothing questions. One’s that anger the instant you’ve read them.

Examples;

“How do I make money on my blog.”

For a time I was answering questions like these by giving hints but not providing an answer. But these questions soon wore me out. I couldn’t stomach them anymore so just ‘pass’ now.

I’m not sure what annoys me more. The naivety or the bare faced cheek of the questions.

My answer unilaterally to things like this is, go out and find out yourself. Don’t ask rando questions hoping that someone will gift you the answer. They aren’t going to share it so freely because those answers are hard fought campaigns. Why do you believe that the answer should be presented on a silver platter to you. Go out and do. Don’t ask why. Don’t waste my friggin time!

Down to Stats

Top 5 most viewed answers as of 26th September 2018

Brace yourselves!

#1 My answer to; “How can you tell if a boy thinks you are cute”.

  • Views 1.52K
  • Upvotes 1

If he was a dog, his “lipstick” might pop out and his tail might wag ferociously.

Does it get any better from this point :)

Of course.

Beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, so they say.

What they also say is that if you are a good person, that shines through.

Most guys will find you cute for a number of different reasons.

Boys are hormone machines.

Potential cute signs

  1. You conduct yourself in a ‘cute’ way. In other words, you are not a NAG.
  2. You are kind and courteous. Which should be a given, but guys respond better to that. If you happen to be a Cardassian (not a Kardashian) then a sign of aggression is considered a ‘turn on’ between the male and female. So if you are swinging more towards the long term enemy of the Bajoran, see if you always come off with the guy in a heated fight. See Deep Space 9 for details.
  3. You have a certain ‘something something’, a certain vivacity, a spark
  4. You have a certain key feature (whether it be physical or otherwise) that said boy value quite highly in their criteria for ‘cute’. That might be a short stature and doe eyes as an example. You might laugh in a certain girly way that makes guy’s loins quiver.
  5. The guy finds it more difficult talking to you as a ‘friend’ than he does with other girls (because he has a potential pant bulge for you, he could also hate you so watch out for that).
  6. Flowing conversation (which may sound contradictory to point 5).
  7. You hear him talking to his friends in a positive way about you. i.e. you come top of the list of “would I”.

Don’t concern yourself if you are not what is considered an archetype of attractive, in terms of looks or personality. There is a guy for every gal. If you are a great person you can snare just about anybody’s attention.

Guys who are interested will invent ways to be near you. They will normally have a smile on their face, and be glad to be around your presence, lingering longer than they need to. They’ll be more likely to help you out in a situation, even it involves a lot of expenditure of effort on their part (going out of their way).

#2 My answer to “Can you Marry Your Stepsister”

(note, this was a question that was amalgamated into another, and thus the answer is far more random than the question originally intended, but the result of me leaving the answer as it was, causes amusement and dismay to some).

  • Views 1.38K
  • Upvotes 2

Originally Answered: Can I marry my dad’s wife son?

That depends on whether this is a “Hillbilly situation” or all above board.

“Hillbilly situation”, no. That would be classified as incest, which is illegal in quite a lot of places. Slightly different if it’s a cousin, but even then, you could end up with children who have congenital problems. A definite no if they are ‘blood’. You don’t want the situation where people are asking why your child can count to 29 with fingers and toes.

All above board, yes, but technically you will have married your Step-Sister. Okay if they are not ‘blood’.

#3 My answer to “Should I buy Tai Lopez’s 12 Foundations program?”

  • Views 1.2K
  • Upvotes 4

I would say no.

The thing you have to ask yourself is. If Tai Lopez is sooooo successful, why would he be selling a course like this.

Most people who find a ‘rich stream’ keep it to themselves. They don’t want everybody knowing their secret sauce, because if everybody knew it, they wouldn’t make their mega bucks. If he is selling these ‘secrets’ to untold thousands, what value does it actually have. If he has armed all of your competition the same, you are going to have work extra hard to make up for the ever increasing division of wealth.

If you are trying to get rich quick, don’t. You don’t get rich quick unless you are truly exceptional at business, and have a radical idea that gets picked up very quickly.

You are better to go more traditional in some areas, and invest your money on lower risk items. Pay off your debts while the interest rates are low and generally don’t over expose yourself to systems that seem ‘too good to be true’.

#4 My answer to “Does a writer become better with age?”

  • Views 968
  • Upvotes 7

Infinitely.

The more you write, the better you get. The longer you write, the more you develop your style, the more feedback you get, and the more confident you feel.

Many writers need to soak in a lot of real life experience to be able to convey it with some degree of context and authenticity. It takes time to collect those experiences.

You will find that there are a number of authors who wrote in their younger years but put off publishing. They came back to their work later on, when they had grown more as a person. It’s often difficult writing about what you don’t know. Terry Pratchett is one such example. He wrote his first book when he was in his 20s but let it stew for a very long time. He returned to writing after being a press officer for a nuclear power station, and had grown quite a degree after many years of experience.

They normally say that most author’s first books are not a reflection of what they become. Your first writing product might be incredibly raw compared to something you publish later in life.

Formula

There is a counter argument, one thing you can consider. The older you get, the less likely you are to take risks. There are some authors who whilst still being great, play it far too safe in later sequels, because they are embroiled in formula, they get lazy. That however is more a problem with sequels.

As people get a great deal older, they also become more forgetful. Going back to my Terry Pratchett example, he wandered into the territory of senile dementia, and found it increasingly difficult to write his Discworld series. For a period of time he had employed a number of fans to aid him with the lore of the books (because the Discworld series is lore rich). So the best thing is not to leave it too late.

Quantity

Enid Blyton has written the most published books, they aren’t long books because they are children’s books, but there are literally hundreds. She started in 1922, the last book she published while she was alive was in 1975, and she had 6 further books published posthumously in 1997.

She grew to a peak and then plateaued for an incredible length of time. She is probably a good way to judge how much better you grow as a writer over time. Enid is best known for Noddy and Big Ears, and Peter Rabbit.

Charlatans

One other thing to consider is whether they were any good in the first place. The person you are assessing might have always used ghostwriters for their books and merely lend their name and personality to the sale of their book. I am sure that a ghostwriter gets better with age but the person fronting the work is a static level of competence (or incompetence).

The celebrity (dare I say it) Katy Price and her ghostwriter, Rebecca Farnworth, are an example of a winning team. Sadly Rebecca passed away in 2014. Katy’s level of writing skill does not increase or decrease, only the skill of her ghostwriter does.

Peaking Too Early

Some writers only have 1 epic book in them and are only remembered for that work over everything else they produce. This was kind of true for music artists back in the 80s and 90s, and is probably something that will continue. You had a lot of “one hit wonders” back in that period, having produced a musical masterpiece the band couldn’t surpass. The Rembrandts, who created the Friends theme tune, are only generally remembered for the Friends theme tune, and people who turned up to their concerts during the Friends era only stayed to listen to the Friends theme. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Treasure Island, but also wrote quite a few other books including “Strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”. He is predominantly known for Treasure Island.

#5 My answer to “Does any one want to write their heart out here”

  • Views 391
  • Upvotes 2

I am not going to share the transcript here as it was something that was quite personal that I shared with thousands of people. I won’t even provide a link so you would have to go and dig it out yourselves if you want to be nosy. I don’t feel bad about the answer, it just brings a sigh to me. It was rather therapeutic to share but feels like a raking of the coals. Many people shared their troubles anonymously, I chose to share mine in person.

The #1 answer I most enjoyed writing

I wanted to end this article on a high, so I’d like to share the answer I most enjoyed writing;

My answer to the deleted question “What Screams “I’m a redneck”?”

  1. Wearing a t-shirt that says “I’m a redneck.” in big bold letters on the front. A red shirt with black letters, or a white shirt with red letters.
  2. Neck roll. Yards of it.
  3. A mullet. (even for the ladies).
  4. Tattoos. For the ladies “tramp stamps”.
  5. A cousin named ‘Bubba’.
  6. Owning more than one shotgun.
  7. Firing said shotgun into the air. Especially at weddings or funerals.
  8. A blade of grass hanging out of the side of your mouth. The one you’ve been chewing on if you can’t afford chewing tobacco.
  9. Chewing tobacco.
  10. Wearing check patterns.
  11. Owning a trailer.
  12. Living in said trailer.
  13. Being unintelligible even when not drunk.
  14. Obsessing about butane and propane.
  15. Adding ‘gator’ into at least 10 sentences a day.
  16. Owning a pickup or other 4x4 utility vehicle.
  17. Said utility vehicle having spotlights on it for illegal poaching.
  18. Illegal poaching.
  19. Uttering the words “I’m gonna getcha boy.” repeatedly.
  20. Being arrested several times for DUIs (sometimes per week).
  21. Making Moonshine.
  22. Almost going blind on the moonshine.
  23. Going blind on the moonshine.
  24. Making comments about people “not being from around here” in a sinister, “I’m going to eat you”, kind of way.
  25. Having yellow fingers from amount of nicotine inhaled, with or without dope.
  26. Shooting stop signs in the middle of the night, for “target practice”.
  27. Having a family bigger than 2 children.
  28. Laughing like an idiot.
  29. Staring people down while balancing your foot on a shovel.
  30. Being really good at digging shallow graves.
  31. Having a pot belly.
  32. Wearing a hat that has never been washed.
  33. Purposely running over furry animals.
  34. Eating said roadkill.
  35. Going to bars.
  36. Looking like you live in a bar.
  37. Getting into bar fights regularly.
  38. Having a busted nose or a permanently cut lip/black eye.
  39. Eating your own body weight in red meat.
  40. Having a diet almost entirely composed of meat.
  41. Drinking beer like it’s water.
  42. Wearing dungarees (as long as you don’t have a lesbian haircut, because then you would just be a classic lesbian).
  43. Having stuffed trophies in your house with an excess of antler.
  44. Waving a confederation flag pretty much anywhere but especially out of your vintage 4x4 or Corvette whilst doing doughnuts in a McDonald’s parking lot.
  45. Marrying your cousin.
  46. Saying “Yeeha”, uncontrollably.
  47. Setting bear traps for trespassers.
  48. Torturing said trespassers.
  49. Having a barn full of trespassers rucksacks and other personal belongings.
  50. Being insanely Christian, so insanely Christian that everything in the Bible is gospel.
  51. Dispensing Bible quotes like a Coke machine dispenses Coke.

There’s probably more, but I can’t narrow them down at the moment. Hope that helped.

Quora

Fun for all the family.

:)

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