Namesake appears to have what Quora lacks. I have been complaining bitterly about several deficiencies in Quora for some time now. The first one was that questions have not context within any problematic. The second one was the seeming arbitrary censorship which others have complained about more strongly than myself. Thirdly there is the fact that there is no real discussion here except in comments, but rather people are talking past each other as they all answer the questions in their different ways, but there is no way to work out and reconcile the answers with each other. And finally there is a lack of dialectic, so questions and answers are considered atomic and are not part of a larger dynamic structure like a dialogue. I ventured to invite people to Convore as a place where some realtime conversation might happen on my profile but no one took me up on that offer as far as I know.
I was just invited to join Namesake today, and I immediately started a philosophy discussion in which others heartily participated. The environment reminds me a lot of Quora but has some interesting differences with respect to reputation building that I have yet to appreciate, so there is a subtle difference to the organization of the site, beyond the obvious fact that it is oriented toward realtime direct rather than indirect conversation mediated by the Q&A structure here on Quora. There is no censorship because it is real time chat. And it is dynamic so you can get a sense of the style of the other persons thinking in real time. And it allows for a dialog. There I was actively comparing Namesake to Quora, and probably that was not appreciated by the developers, but my experience here on Qurora and what is right about this community and its culture as well as its deficiencies gives me a particular perspective that I would not have had if I had not known Quora first.
I had tried to start my own chat framework using status.net at http://ourtalk.net in hopes of producing something one like Namesake, but now I find that it has already been done, and has been growing since last year. My suggestion is that we use the two platforms together to enhance the experience of both. Namespace specifically answers my complaints about Quora, and thus lessen the demand of those complaints. When I get fed up with Quora I can go to Namesake.com or Ourtalk.net and express myself how ever I like outside the censorship of Quora. I am not censored very much here so my complaint in that regard is not very great, but it is the arbitrary nature of the actions by the staff and the other volunteers that is particularly irksome. For me the more important problem is the lack of context for questions and the lack of an overall framework of dialectic within which the questions can be answered, as well as the lack of the problematic background to questions. Questions seem to come out of the air, from nowhere, because people are sitting in front of their monitors and they feel as if they just must ask something, even if it is not a real concern. From that we get all kinds of bogus questions that are not vetted as much as the answers. For me it is fun to take the seemingly philosophical ones and try to make something meaningful out of them even if they were not really meant to be meaningful in the first place. These bogus “deep” questions come out of peoples thought that they must ask something profound since they are here in a question and answer environment where questions are taken seriously.
Unfortunately it appears that the people who built Quora the Question and Answer site really do not understand the nature of Questions and Answers very deeply, and thus we get this flawed environment within which we must struggle to stay sane and make it work for us. We like to answer questions. We just wish there were real questions to grapple with. People make valiant attempts to answer all sorts of inane questions. Fortunately these are not all the questions that appear here, and thus there is relief when we find a genuine question that someone really has a pining to get an answer to. But, it would help if people could have real conversations like they can at Namesake.com in order to get a sense of who each other are through the dynamic interaction. Anyway, I would like to invite you all over to Namesake.com when you need a break from Quora, and want to actually interact with respect to any of the subjects that I like to talk about. And if you really want to be adventurous you can ask for an invite to my own environment atOurTalk.com. Namesake gives 1500 characters and I give 2500 characters for a post. Philosophy questions need plenty of space to be answered, and fortunately there are no limits that I know of on answers he at Quora. But occasionally one might want some realtime back and forth interaction, because real answers to significant questions need to be explored and understood by each individual differently. It seems like Namesake.commight be a good place to do that.