Quora believes it has built the best question and answer service on the Internet. Now, it’s looking to Wikipedia for inspiration.
With a fresh $80 million in the bank, Quora’s head of business operations, Marc Bodnick, tells VentureBeat that the company raised the new funds to remain independent, fund infrastructure costs, and focus on quality control. Most interestingly, Bodnick shares that Quora has plans for large-scale international expansion: the site will finally support other languages besides English.
It’s easy to connect the dots between Quora and Wikipedia. Users can visit either site to learn about countless topics, and both services are powered by a passionate group of contributors. But Quora’s future similarities with Wikipedia go deeper.
According to Bodnick, “80 to 90 percent of Quora’s content is evergreen – it stays valuable forever. When we become the best place on the Internet to read about Shakespeare, that’s good forever and ever.” Ultimately, Bodnick says, “we’re building this library like Wikipedia.” Quora’s end goal is to “share and grow the world’s knowledge.”
“We have people using Quora in just about every country in the world,” Bodnick shares, “but the site is English only. We need to internationalize into lots of other languages. If you look at Wikipedia’s homepage, you’ll see Wikipedia has a library in just about every language in the world.”
Bodnick wouldn’t share a timeframe for his language expansion plans. Ultimately, as Quora scales its catalog, the site’s next challenge will be to keep content quality high. “We want to keep using automation to surface great content and fight spam,” says Bodnick.
While Quora offers its users numerous ways to contribute content to the site, from blogging to reviews, Bodnick says the site’s core focus is still on questions and answers. Currently Quora has 500,000 topics live on the site, and 40 percent of its traffic is mobile.