To answer the question, let's take a look at some of the reasons why Quora has failed so far despite allthe money and hype it received early on. While I am only speaking for myself here, there are no doubtmany other former and current Quorans who will agree with much of the following assessment.
A Bad User Experience
In return for investing long hours to generate unpaid content for Quora, members are rewarded with aan unpleasant overall user experience, which has been reported endlessly by others online. This is nohyperbole. Let's take a look at what people object to:
The No Humor Rule:
Humor is a de facto taboo on Quora. While the occasional demonstration of witwill evoke no more than a scowl and shake of the head from the community, more regular use will drawa barrage of down votes and risk the possibility of banishment. The staff attempts to deny that this istrue but fails to convince anyone. Many Quorans simply don't appreciate humor and will automaticallydown vote any post that contains it. The most common argument proffered for this norm is thatsomeone in a faraway place, such as Helmand Province or central New Guinea, may not get the joke. Isthis really a sufficient reason to force people not to inject a bit of wit into a post considering that 90% of the audience is American? The arguments over the use of humor are endless on Quora.The end result is that Quora often feels like a meeting of the campus Young Marxist-Feminists Alliance.
The Be Nice at All Costs Rule:
Far worse than the No Humor Rule is the Be Nice at All Costs Rule whichhas done more to destroy any value Quora might have had than anything else. The rule was introducedto appease the "soccer mom wave" of membership that washed over the site in 2011. This influx had aprofound impact on the community transforming it from a place where, in theory at least, busy peopleexchanged information and advice to one where the imperative became to simply make everyone feelwelcomed, supported, and mollycoddled no matter how vapid their contributions happened to be.
Speaking of vapid, despite the founders' intentions of building a high-brow forum,Quora quickly became inundated with endless, mind-numblingly, stupid discussions such "Who is themost charming Quorite?", "Who is the friendliest Quorite?", "Who is your favorite Quorite?", "Who isthe hottest Quorite?", "Help! My boyfriend is addicted to Quora, and I don't know what to do!", adnauseam.There is really only so much of this garbage that anyone can take.The community also suffers badly from a nauseatingly high level of self-congratulatory "Look at howsmart we all are!" posts. One post in 2010 breathlessly exclaimed "Wow! Another Quorite helped me to