There appears to be a new feature on Quora:
“Allow comments on my answers and posts”.
(See right there at the bottom? Yeah. That.)
I dunno why it took me so long to realize this setting existed, but it did… Oh no, wait, I know exactly why – I’ve never, ever seen this feature used before Michelle Rhee‘s (otherwise excellent) answer to What are some of the biggest problems with public education in America?
Maybe I’m just trolling about the seedier side of Quoraville or something, but in my experience one of the great attractions of the site itself is the perception that public figures who do choose to participate do so “fully”, even when they do not wade into the muck of comment threads. Hate on him all you like, but Robert Scoble seems like a “Quora member”, and not a hit-and-run “Quorcaster”, which is what I worry this feature will ultimately promote.
In many ways, this is worse than aggressive/hurtful anonymous answers, as it limits the querent’s ability to followup with what may often be popular answers, and applies an explicit social hierarchy that would seem to mark the average Quoran as part of the “untouchable class”.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for people maintaining their privacy, and limiting their interactions for what they have time and energy for, but I simply don’t see the utility here in preventing communication in this fashion – wouldn’t it make more sense to have a setting that just said “don’t notify me when the plebes reply”?
(Oh wait, that does already exist. Huh.)
This is like the “Ignore Facebook Friend Request” feature… I can see Michelle, but in some significant ways, she can’t see me – not in the contexts that matter to her, at least. And, being that I’m so awesome, the whole thing just strikes me as sad. For her. You know?
Anyway, just finishing my lunch, noticing new things about Quora that make it feel a little bit more elitist than usual. Carry on, and have a good weekend…
You can read my original Post on Quora, if you like. I wonder if Michelle will respond? 😉