Is Quora a Threat to Wikipedia?

Quora was officially launched a year after its inception in the month of June, 2009. Ever since its availability to the masses, Quora has relentlessly strived to improve itself. It is that platform which allows its users to pitch questions and answers, thereby sharing valuable information. Users also have the liberty to edit and reframe their questions and answers. In 2011, the founders of Quora, Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever, gave the website a makeover. This step was exclusively taken to make searching and navigation across the website easier. Therefore, with such a spate of growth, it is not surprising that even during its infancy period, Quora had the support of 5, 00,000 users already.

How did Wikipedia come into the picture?

Our inclination as rational thinkers, to compare two things of the same kind is extremely natural. So Wikipedia, being a similar website to Quora in terms of housing miscellaneous information in the form of articles, along with the option of editing for continuous improvement of quality, came to be considered as a rival that could soon be outdated by Quora. In fact, there was a hue and cry over whether Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia expressed his doubts about Quora being a threat to Wikipedia. This idea was soon negated as Wales himself said that the two platforms are quite different, despite of overlapping factors.

 

Quora – no threat to Wikipedia

While it is true that Wikipedia’s growth in terms of inclusion of new articles and editing of the existing ones has slowed down, it will be completely inappropriate to say that it has stagnated. Let’s ask ourselves a question. How many times in a day do we use Wikipedia as compared to Quora? The answer itself should validate Wikipedia’s dominance, at least in terms of web traffic.

  • Quora is basically an amalgamation of social media and Q&A portals like Wikipedia and Yahoo Answers. When a question is posed, people provide answers according to their personal opinions. Therefore, the information cannot really be considered to be reliable or authentic. Wikipedia on the other hand, takes great pains to research and then publish accurate information in its articles. Quora offers various perspectives to a topic. Wikipedia forms a comprehensive data base by accumulating all the information about a given topic.
  • Quora is a great website for having a debate, where different users from diverse backgrounds uphold their unique ideas. Wikipedia’s tone is quite neutral and professional. Quora is more interactive as it engages its users in a conversation. This is something that Wikipedia lacks.
  • Unlike Wikipedia, Quora is not multilingual. Its content is mostly available in English.
  • The organisation of information in Wikipedia articles lets the users to fish for facts easily. Most importantly, data in Wikipedia is eclectic and not mainly West centric.
  • The question of awareness is also there. How many people, who are not cyber bugs, are actually aware of Quora? Not very many.

yaabot_Quora_Wiki_stats

Wikipedia has evolved from being just a website to a leading brand. So the question of it being under threat by Quora is not very substantial. Just like Whatsapp and Skype both let users to connect with people globally, the uses and applications of both cater to different needs. The same goes for Wikipedia and Quora.