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Scribd seems unambiguously terrible (DRM fonts? That's a whole new level of garbage), but I find it really hard to say the same about Quora unless you're confirmation-bias-ing your way to portray them in a bad light.

So i've got this website. You have to log in to post things there. Other people have to log in to see the things you post there.

Someone please explain to me again how this arrangement is evil? Seems pretty straightforward and fair to me.

Spam emails? http://gyazo.com/f4752783f03276b654dd3f7044cb6766

Seems to me like they give you pretty comprehensive settings on what you can turn on and turn off. And it's not like this screen was hard to find. It's in an "Email preferences" link on the same general settings page you set your password on.




Quota is evil (your word, not mine) because they make it seem, though eg Google, that you can access the information immediately. Further, they are breaking the norms of Q&A sites that viewing information doesn't require more than passing interaction with the site (a norm many people who provide Q&A content tend to agree with). Finally, it brings back strong memories (as mentioned in TFA) of Experts Exchange, which was uniformly hated.

Spamming is just an extra incentive to dislike them.


So they do something slightly different from Stack* and they're "considered harmful"?

The screenshot I linked should be enough to immediately disprove any accusations of "spam".


> The screenshot I linked should be enough to immediately disprove any accusations of "spam".

Really? You have to uncheck something like 20 checkboxes to avoid spam. And they used to have a tendency to re-enable all of them each time they add a new option; so you had to repeat the process on and off. (Hopefully that last bit has tapered down)


Your spam is someone else's notification from a service they use.

Can we stop torturing the definition of words, please? Spam is unsolicited commercial email. A service you registered for emailing you when one of your questions is answered or commented on, or a digest of interesting questions from the week, and so on is not spam by any possible definition.

Now, where have I seen that behavior before? Is this spam too, by your definition?

http://gyazo.com/df79d094acec54257a6d06b331664f5a

And here's the control UI

http://gyazo.com/db7e83881331c7dde7f028af3411f917

This is something I wish i could do over on Stack* - I'd love to be emailed when a question is answered or commented on. But alas, I have a newsletter, and a single checkbox that turns a bunch of stuff on and off. But you don't earn hate on hacker news for having too few features, apparently you earn it by having too many?

The worst thing you can accuse Quora of is being very, very granular as to what you can turn on and off... Hence why I call it confirmation bias. People have been told the site is crap and so go looking for reasons to confirm it.

Behold! The email settings UI is over-engineered! Let's imply a huge amount of mustache-twirling negativity into their motivations for doing so! The horror! They send an email once a week with interesting questions! It must be spam! Nevermind the fact that Stack* does the exact same thing!

All of this Quora hate is really, really unjustified for the simple difference of having a registration requirement to view their content.


> The worst thing you can accuse Quora of is being very, very granular as to what you can turn on and off

I just don't see how having a good granularity is incompatible with having an easy way to turn the whole thing off. Neither do I see a point in having the settings revert back once in a while.

> Hence why I call it confirmation bias. People have been told the site is crap and so go looking for reasons to confirm it.

> All of this Quora hate is really, really unjustified for the simple difference of having a registration requirement to view their content

You seem to have strong opinions about why other people's dislike of Quora is unjustified. But this amounts to just putting words in people's mouth.


A service emailing me anything I did not explicitly ask it to is sending me spam - unsolicited commercial email - by your own definition. Just because you find the spam useful doesn't mean it isn't spam.


By that definition, Stack Overflow's weekly email is "spam". You signed up for it the same way you signed up for Quora.


The key difference is that on SO we don't make you give us your email address to read an answer. So when you "sign up" for the newsletter, you're explicitly signing up for email (in fact, you can do so without even bothering to create an account).

Not saying SO doesn't send too many emails to registered users in other scenarios (it's something we argue about internally fairly often).

And to be fair, both sites put "unsubscribe" links in the footer of every email, so it really shouldn't be that much of a burden.


Yes. Most mail from corporations at this point is spam. That is completely true.


Your definition is so broad as to be utterly meaningless.


The screenshot you link seems to me indicative of a dark pattern:

User unsubscribes from all categories (one-by-one-by-one) = invent a new category and auto-subscribe the user.


>Someone please explain to me again how this arrangement is evil?

Well, if they let you know ahead of time that you needed to sign up to access the content, that'd be no big deal. And, of course, I wouldn't bother to ever visit the site.

Instead, through Google, they make it appear like the information is accessible, then nag you to sign up to see it.

From the article and the look of this thread, it appears quite a few people think that it's a crappy way to do business; so who is "biased"?


I had the impression that Google penalizes websites for giving its crawler substantially different information than a visitor would receive, and that it has done so for quite some time. I wonder why Quora is not penalized in to irrelevance.


Because they abuse rel=canonical instead of outright showing different content. See https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6301280.


Because what they serve to Google is the same, the first answer. The issue is that people want more than the first answer or they don't know how to dismiss the sign up modal.

More than anything, people who have issues with this feel entitled to have unfettered access to content because Wikipedia and other sites have been world changing and useful resources without a barrier to entry for reading content.

There was a time when using an anonymous remailer was considered bad taste, but now an email address isn't sacred, things change a lot on the internet over time and it has more to do with how the general public uses it and perceives it than to do with how highly technical people think it ought to be.




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