Here are 2 exactly same questions:

Why don't aircraft fly over Tibet - 395 Views, Asked on 19 August 2016.

Why don't planes fly over Tibet - 45,160 Views, 1017 Followers, Asked on September 9 2016.

So do you also think that Stack Exchange is doing something terribly wrong? If yes, then what could it be?

Some points I would like to mention:

  1. Maybe too strict moderation. Most of the questions on Quora would be closed here as primarily opinion based.

  2. Quora is a one single website, for all the topics. You don't need to join different communities for everything.

Though these points help in maintaining the standard of content on Stack Exchange, but what's the use of those standards if no one is reading the content?


2 Answers 2


There are several implicit assumptions in your question:

  1. That Quora and SE have the same mission
  2. That page views are a meaningful measure of success (whatever success actually means anyway)
  3. That "no one" is reading aviation.SE

The page view points (2 and 3) are largely irrelevant to us as site users. Perhaps Joel and the SE owners care deeply about page views but for all I know they have other measures of success that are more important. And obviously, the idea that "no one" is reading aviation.SE answers is nonsense. You could talk about whether a lot of people are reading it or not, but that just turns into a debate about what "a lot" means, quality vs. quantity etc. which is rather uninteresting (to me, at least).

Anyway, the more important point is that SE and Quora are based on very different ideas about questions. Compare these quotes:

About Quora (my emphasis):

We want to connect the people who have knowledge to the people who need it, to bring together people with different perspectives so they can understand each other better
We want Quora to be the place to voice your opinion because Quora is where the debate is happening
Quora provides a personalized feed of insightful answers to questions you hadn’t realized you should ask.

About aviation.SE (emphasis in the original):

This site is all about getting answers. It's not a discussion forum. There's no chit-chat.
Focus on questions about an actual problem you have faced.
Not all questions work well in our format. Avoid questions that are primarily opinion-based, or that are likely to generate discussion rather than answers.

Straight away, you can see that each site has a very different feel. Quora is interested in multiple viewpoints, contrasting opinions, cross-disciplinary topics and intellectual curiosity. Those are all great and important things, but StackExchange is based on the very different idea of helping people solve practical problems within one well-defined area. Those are simply not approaches that can be directly and easily compared.

There's a very nice and longer answer on Quora (!) that contrasts the sites very well, but I think this quote from it sums it all up:

It's not that one has more community than the other or that one favors points more (they're both pretty good at both). It's that the hooks differ. The hook at Stack Exchange is a pretty high level of assurance of accuracy and availability of an answer. The hook at Quora is "oh that looks interesting!"

The same question on StackExchange was closed as "not constructive", which is exactly what I would expect :-)


Here's my perspective as a new user (~4 months now).

Searching something on Google usually brings up results from SE and Quora. Not long ago they seemed like one and the same to me.

After landing on a page from Google on Quora, I started to realize you can't browse any further without setting up an account, unlike SE.

Well, I never set up an account over there.

Wikipedia is moderated and the articles are rated, I find SE the same but for Q&A vs. encyclopedic entries. It's fun and educating to just freely browse it.

Now for quality, here's the same question by the same person:

Quora: Why does in some cases the magnetic course (not magnetic variation) change between navaids along a same airway?

SE: Why isn't the course fixed along an airway? (yes, title and body were edited, yes I'm proud of this answer :-))


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