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Crowdsourcing vs Quality – Can Q&A sites find the balance?

Interesting article here from Fast Company on the growth of Q&A sites like Quora and Facebook questions, exploring the fact that no-one has completely cracked it yet, for a number of reasons:

  • Negative response bias – Those with an axe to grind are more likely to respond to requests
  • Attention seeking, rather than utility-giving – The classic problem with crowdsourcing, in which respondents use it as their own personal platform, rather contributing to the actual need
  • Trolling – Noise created by non-interested 3rd parties in an attempt to boost their own presence

Nevertheless, there are a couple of smaller, targetted Q&A sites that are working quite well for niche audiences – take a look at TED Conversations, Innocentive and Help a Reporter Out

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