A year or two ago, it might have been easy to brush aside Quora for being another Valley water cooler with little mainstream crossover potential. But the content on the site has since diversified into other areas like food and entertainment, politics, and film. Content is actually fairly evenly divided between five different areas now — four of which are outside tech (see the graph below). With that new breadth, Quora is rethinking how it displays and organizes topics today.
The company is still quiet on numbers of active users, but Marc Bodnick, who handles business development and product marketing, said that there are 250,000 topics up from about 70,000 a year ago.
“Given all of this content and the diverse number of areas we have now, we wanted to make it easier and more fun for people to browse the site by topic,” Bodnick said.
Most notably, they’re adding a universal trending topics section to the right sidebar, which will make it easier for users to congregate around hot subjects like Apple’s upcoming iPhone launch or the Republican and Democratic National Conventions.
There’s no personalization to these trending topics now, but it’s something the company is open to later. That should help make the site a lot more timely for newcomers, and it might accelerate the creation of more content around suddenly buzzworthy subjects.
They’re also redesigning topic pages, which will now have a single news feed of relevant, interesting and high-quality questions and answers. They’ve moved the “About” and “Open Questions” area to the right-hand sidebar.
“Our topic pages had a chronological list of content. It wasn’t particularly dynamic and it wasn’t sorted for quality,” Bodnick said. “It simply wasn’t as good as what you’re going to see now.”
Quora, founded in June 2009, first launched in private beta in January 2010. Quora is a continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it. The most important thing is to have each question page become the best possible resource for someone who wants to know about the question. One way you can think of it is as a cache for the research that people do looking things up on the web and asking...