Instead of one size fits all web services that try and cram all attention and input through a single portal, why not develop thousands or millions of community question and answer hubs? The technical challenge include providing Q&A software (stack exchange or quora like), creating a blog plugin for WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Posterous, etc, and enabling a network glue to allow cross community activity and sharing. Blog hosts can moderate the Q&A board themselves or assign moderation to trusted community members.
The idea hit me while scanning Robert Scoble’s recent frustration with Quora. Quora moderators have the ability alter questions and remove answers, in hopes of improving question and answer quality. Answers can also be down voted by coordinated user groups, without any recourse for contributors (see Digg or Reddit burying). Mr. Scoble has a knack for instigating opinionated conversations about social web topics, and he’s done it again.
The Scoble Hype Cycle is becoming a parody of itself.
Step 1) Find new service
Step 2) Become incredibly enthusiatic, acquire the most followers
Step 3) Declare it as the new blogging / twitter / friendfeed / foursquare / buzz / latitude / whatever else was the last victim of the Scoble Hype Cycle
Step 4) Hit some minor flaw or snag, frequently one that only affects someone using the service in an extreme way with a ridiculous number of followers
Step 5) Declare it as dead, fundamentally flawed, move on to the next lucky company
Can’t wait to see who’s next.
Robert Scoble’s response:
That’s a lame analysis of what I do. Really lame.
My response to Robert:
Shallow assessment but the macro trend is correct for services where you hit a wall.
What surprises me in the case of Quora is why you haven’t reposted answers to questions here on your blog, like a Q&A tab. Maybe your own mini scoble-q&a to enable folks that follow your work to ask questions and chat, promoting community. That would be an addon/service I’d enjoy as a blogger. Then these mini-communities can be woven together between blogs where a question here get’s a link to an answer on Fred Wilson’s or Dave Winer’s blog. Disqus and/or a blog pluggin could provide the service.
I reposted answers that I put time into, in case they were banished to invisibility.