Social Q&A service Quora has rolled out several major changes in an effort to make it easier for people to find relevant and useful content.
“With the range of topics now covered on Quora, people often need to switch between different contexts and may miss content that they’re interested in,” Quora engineer Edomnd Lau explained on Quora.com. “As part of helping Quora scale up as a reusable resource for information, we’re launching new topic pages and topic groups to help people learn about topics and engage with all the activity happening on Quora within different topics.”
The first update is a reshuffling of the organization and structure of topic pages. Rather than simply provide a running list of the most recent questions being asked or answer in a given topic, the upgraded topic pages now include featured answers, top questions and open questions that require more answers. One of the goals of the new pages is to “encourage longer-form descriptions.”
Quora has also introduced a new feature called topic groups. A topic group is simply a feed of every question and answer from that topic or any related topics. For example, the “Movies” group includes Screenwriting, The Matrix and Comedy Movies, but doesn’t include film schools or TV shows. In fact, there’s a section on each topic group page that explains what the group is about and a section that describes the things the group does and does not discuss. Groups are managed by topic admins, most of whom are chosen for their expertise in selected subjects.
Quora came roaring out of the gate as one of Silicon Valley’s hot startups, thanks in no small part to its all-star team. The company is led by Adam D’Angelo, the former CTO of Facebook, and Charlie Cheever, one of the creators of Facebook Connect and the Facebook Platform. We named it one of our 10 websites to watch in 2011. Recently though, the company has been quiet and the hype has died down as it tries to expand beyond its early adopter userbase.