Is Quora a Democracy 1
Quora - the whole world as a public joker -
And usually someone can be found there who actually knows the correct answer. So a typical case of swarm intelligence. This is the principle behind the website quora.com from Mountainview in Silicon Valley and puts the whole world at our feet as a public joker.
And this is how it works:
You have to register on the website with your e-mail address and tick nine topics that you are particularly interested in from a given selection of topics. You can also choose from 20 languages in which you would like to communicate with the other participants. You can now post a question yourself or answer questions from other Quora participants. If you like an answer that another participant has already given, you can "upvote" this answer. If you find the answer wrong or inappropriate, you can vote down. You can also use your own thoughts to comment on your own view of an answer.
For the fact that you do not write a detailed author's text but only ask a short question, you get a surprising number of very different, mostly very well-founded views on your question. You can also choose from a list of authors from which members of the community you want a response. In the list you can see from which country a potential respondent comes and whether he has a background that fits your question. Or you ask the entire audience.
Compared to a blog page like Friday there are the following advantages:
Your readers are not the usual suspects from Friday's reading and authorship, but potentially the whole world. Interactions between people from all over the world occur quickly. It is not predominantly left-wing positions that are discussed.
Compared to Wikipedia there are these advantages:
On Wikipedia you can usually find reliable answers to a question about facts. E.g. when asked: How long has Queen Elisabeth ruled in Great Britain? With Quora you are not only dependent on the knowledge of one person who considers himself an expert on the subject at Wikipedia. Quora also provides you with answers to questions for which there is no single objective answer, but about which one can disagree. E.g. to the following question: Why do you think that the UK will manage Brexit this time?
I tried it out myself right away. My first question was: Could the UK House of Commons elect John Bercow (current Speaker of the House of Commons) as Interim Prime Minister to replace Boris Johnson? I had in the back of my mind that Berkow had announced that he would be stepping down from his post soon so that he could then become a candidate for the post of prime minister if a party nominates him after a vote of no confidence in Boris Johnson. In a short space of time, I received 10 different responses from supporters and opponents of Brexit with information that I would not have thought of myself and that were kept in a respectful tone.
Then I answered a question from a Pakistani man myself who wanted to know whether he could live well with his family of three in Berlin with an annual salary of 45,000 euros. After my answer, the Pakistani now knows that there is a considerable difference between gross and net salaries in Germany. I immediately got two upvotes for my answer.
Then I discovered a question from an Englishman why the Germans fail to finish building BER Airport. I saw that a German had already answered this question in great detail and knowledgeably before me. But I could see from the question that it was meant a bit ironic and decided to give a partly funny answer. I explained that every nation has one great goal: Americans want their country to be great again. The British want to prove that you can actually leave the EU. And the Germans want to save the world from global warming. That is why an airport was built in BER where the exhaust gases from the aircraft are blown underground. Because no one has ever built an airport like this, the responsible politicians could not find a competent project manager and decided to take the construction management into their own hands. In addition, the small building authority of the district of Dahme-Spreewald, in which the airport BER is located, is not in a position to lift the building permit for such a futuristic project and to technically accept the exhaust system. BER Airport will definitely go into operation in 2025 under the abbreviation WWW (Wowereit International). I concluded by saying, Sorry Greta for taking the inconvenience of traveling to the Climate Masters in New York by sailboat just because we couldn't get the airport ready on time.
I received several upvotes for this answer, which shows that humor is well valued at Quora.
If you have a lot of upvotes, you will be asked more often to answer a question. After two days, my e-mail inbox was filled with countless inquiries from total strangers from all over the world. Fortunately, in Quora’s data protection settings, you can set in great detail in which situations you would like to receive inquiries by e-mail. For example, I can determine whether other authors are allowed to send me e-mails at all and whether I want to be notified by e-mail every time someone upvotes me and who it was. So I soon noticed that I was getting more and more new questions from people who at some point had given one of my answers an upvote. I can also become a follower of certain responders whose answers I love, or readers can become followers of mine. Then they see every answer I give to any question and every question I ask myself. You can also subscribe to a specific topic, e.g. the topic "Brexit". Then I'll be notified every time someone asks a question about Brexit.
I can also block certain people who can then no longer send me questions. This is sometimes very useful when I am bothered with questions that the inquirer could easily have Googled himself. E.g. the question "how do you translate" woman "into German?"
The whole thing is financed by online advertising, so you have to expect advertisements. Your participation in the community is free of charge. The terms and conditions promise that your personal data will not be passed on to third parties. Well - who's going to believe it?
The exchange of ideas on Quora was fun and has a certain addictive potential. Just try it.
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