How to Minimize the Amount of Junk You See on Quora

January 28, 2011 § 7 Comments

By: June Lin

Of late, a lot of people have been writing about the problems Quora has with scaling, suggesting UI changes, advocating for new reviewer tools, and so forth. Let’s all admit that Quora (company) isn’t going to be implementing any of these changes soon, but there are things that you can do as a user within the bounds of the current feature set to make your experience browsing Quora less like “body-surfing through shit”[1] and more like partaking in tasty morsel after tasty morsel in a nine course meal at Per Se.

Stop following questions and topics. Seriously, just stop. Most people follow hundreds of high-activity topics like “startups,” “San Francisco,” “movies,” and so forth. Follow a couple of relatively specific sub-topics that not everyone will think to post to. For example, follow topics like natural language processing instead of computer science. I suggest following ten or fewer topics in total. If you see an interesting question, exercise some restraint and don’t follow it unless you really really really want to see every single answer that is written about it. So many people are answering questions these days that I’m just going through and clearing my notifications anyway, so following most questions is kind of meaningless.

Follow people based on their taste and judgement. I use the people that I follow as primary curators of content. Everyone I follow has good taste in up-voting answers and a knack for finding information that I’m also interested in. Don’t feel bad if you’re not following everyone that follows you or people that you know in real life because the people you follow make a huge impact on the quality of your feed. Instead of following the energy topic, I will opt to follow Will Schreiber because he has subject matter expertise and thus will post great answers and up-vote quality, accurate answers within the topic.

Use your feed as your primary way of browsing answers on Quora, and make it so that your notifications only contain things that you really care about (comments on your answers, mentions of your name, answers to your questions, etc). I realize that this is kind of a selfish way of browsing Quora, but your time is valuable and no one should be subjected to unsightly grammatical errors and mediocre answers. I know that I will potentially miss some interesting content, but I’d rather not spend most of my type wading through shit to find those hidden gems. After implementing this strategy for about a month now, I’m still un-following some questions that occasionally pollute my feed, but about 90% of my feed is quality content.

[1] David Foster Wallace

June Lin is the most impatient person on Quora and a total bitch.

§ 7 Responses to How to Minimize the Amount of Junk You See on Quora

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You are currently reading How to Minimize the Amount of Junk You See on Quora at The Quora Review.

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