Cross-posting on Quora

BTW, I've been cross-posting on Quora for a little while now. Same content, different ecosystem.

You can now follow my articles there, on my board/blog thing: Kevin's Blog. Or here — I'll continue to post on Melting Asphalt for the foreseeable future.

Here's what I had to say about the move:

For the past few months I've been keeping a blog on my own domain over at I decided to host it myself, using WordPress, because I thought I needed fine-grained control over the presentation. I wanted to give it the right title and its own URL, and customize every aspect of the look&feel.

But my new theory is that being part of the right ecosystem is more important than having OCD-level presentation controls. So for the next few months I'll be peddling my content here, on Quora, at least as an experiment to test the theory.

Quora isn't just an ecosystem, though. It's an economy — a set of rules, incentives, and other mechanisms for allocating scarce resources. In a traditional economy, the resources are mostly physical things — land, labor, iPhones, that sort of thing. On Quora, the scarce resources are content and attention. It's an information economy.

In a traditional economy, products compete for shelf space and consumer dollars. In the Quora information economy, content competes for screen space and reader attention.

In a traditional economy, allocation decisions are primarily made by prices, which encode a lot of information about the value of things. In the Quora economy, allocation of content is primarily decided by... I don't know. Upvotes and promotion credits seem like two important mechanisms, but I'll bet the algorithm (for determining the content on someone's feed) takes a few more things into account.

At any rate, I believe in the Quora content economy. I think it's an efficient way to allocate scarce resources — in theory at least. And I look forward to watching how it ends up working, in practice, on this blog.

Originally published September 10, 2012.