Quora's topic-level RSS feeds are useless

February 18, 2011

Like many people over the last few months I've become quite fascinated with Quora, the question-and-answer site (though my interest certainly has waned in the last few weeks). When it comes to interfacing with the service, you follow topics and questions (usually within the same topics you follow), and sometimes contribute an answer to a question (something I've heretofore done shamefully little of).

Given this simple configuration and the general purpose of the site, what sort of content would you expect to be pushed to you when you subscribe to a topic's RSS feed? Right, new questions. Nothing more, nothing less. But, that's not what Quora's topic-level RSS feeds send you. Instead, it's a mix of new questions and new answers, including answers to questions you don't care about! This means that if you come across, for example, a question titled "What are some good backup strategies?" (something you just can't stand to hear discussed anymore), you're forced to see the question over and over again, every single time someone offers their two cents.

It's truly maddening, and unfortunately for me, I didn't realize the feeds were broken until after I'd gone through the trouble of subscribing to the feed of every topic I follow. (I haven't yet removed the feeds from my aggregator because I don't want to have to add them back if and when this issue is resolved.)

As far as I can tell, there is no non-manual way of ensuring you've seen every new question posted to a topic (other than a ‘proper' RSS feed, and email), and for an obsessive completionist like myself, that sort of limitation usually is a deal breaker.

Quora, I want to love you. Please fix this.

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