After browsing through a few questions on Quora, I realized I was looking at Stack Overflow for non-programmers. Both Quora and Stack Overflow try to bubble up the best answers to a question, based on other users’ votes. Stack Overflow has been around a couple of years; and techies have been using less sophisticated versions of the idea (bulletin boards with reputation levels) for as long as I can remember.
Will the community-driven Q&A model work across other, less objective, disciplines? Or will the good questions and answers — the ones that actually help people solve a problem — be drowned out by open-ended philosophical discussions?
Quora goes some way toward addressing what decent questions and answers are here. But I think the best guide to Quora is the Stack Overflow FAQ. Their guidelines are short, to the point and apply to everyone, programmer or not. Some highlights:
- look around to see if your question has already been asked
- ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face
- avoid asking subjective questions
- be honest
The full FAQ has plenty of other good advice. Let me know what you think.