Quora has big plans for 2013 that will include the site expanding beyond its Q&A format with new products and/or features that might take on Wikipedia, and perhaps even Google.
Co-founder Adam D’Angelo shared the company’s mission in a blog post late last night, and promised that Quora will expand in order to meet its goals of becoming “an internet-scale Library of Alexandria.”
We hope to become an internet-scale Library of Alexandria, a place where hundreds of millions of people go to learn about anything and share everything they know. To do that we are going to have to expand. Today Quora is largely questions and answers, but that is not the ideal format for all knowledge. Other formats will gradually be added as we scale up.
Coincidentally, it’s a lot easier to learn about his Library of Alexandria reference by visiting Wikipedia than by trying to sort through the dozens of questions that Quora has about it.
That could be an example of what Quora hoped to improve on next year. D’Angelo hints that the company’s plans may include offering a platform to make it easier for people to share knowledge online.
The internet was supposed to allow anyone to set up a web page and share their knowledge with the world. But in practice it’s too difficult and takes too long and almost no one does it. Blogs are easy to start, but unless the author is famous, it takes years to build a following. More than a billion people use the internet yet only a tiny fraction contribute their knowledge to it.
There are millions of people who possess useful knowledge that they would love to share, and there are billions of people who can benefit from it. We believe that many do not share that knowledge today simply because it is not easy enough to do that.
Google eventually shut down Knol earlier this year. (That’s not to say Quora’s plan is destined to fail. We don’t even know what the plan is, just that the site will be expanding next year.)
D’Angelo also shared Quora’s mission statement:
Quora’s mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge.
And just like the Library of Alexandria reference is reminicent of Wikipedia, that mission statement may remind you of another company’s mission, too.