Wikipedia versus Quora

Our topic of the technology of the week is in connection with information goods, we chose two knowledge-sharing website for comparison, Wikipedia and Quora. Firstly we explained what the information goods are then we introduced the two companies, we made a SWOT analysis and finally we predicted the possible future strategies of them.

As Varian and Hutter say, information goods include anything that can be digitized that is answering to consumer needs concerning telecommunication services, entertainment, education, and other forms of information. Due to low reproduction costs of today’s information goods, ‘access’ becomes more and more important than ‘property’. This explains why nowadays, many information goods are (partly) produced by the consumer himself.



Wikipedia is well-known website by everybody, used day by day, if someone is looking for information in Google the first results are the Wikipedia sites. It was founded by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in January 2001. Wikipedia is financed through its parent organization, the Wikimedia Foundation. This organization is a non-profit organization that collects donations at its annual fundraiser and through individual donations in order to provide Wikipedia.



Quora is question-and-answer (Q&A) website; it was founded in June 2009 by Adam D’Angelo. Users can ask personalized questions and these are answered by registered users. The answers can be evaluated by the upvoting system. It is a for-profit company, however, not making any revenues at the moment. Due to angel and venture capital investments, Quora is in a position to focus all its efforts on smooth operations, as well as its growth and its user base.


We compare the two website trough SWOT analysis.

They have similar strengths: both webpage are free to use, free from advertisements and protect their users by anonymity. However, Wikipedia builds its business on the neutral and objective articles. These are constantly updated and opened for everyone for editing. One of Wikipedia’s biggest advantages is that it is multilingual. While Quora’s main strength is that the questions and answers are personalized and the answers are evaluated by users.

However the main disadvantage of these sites, that they are not recognized as reliable sources. More, sometimes Wikipedia contains false information and the editing takes long time and done by amateurs. Quora’s disadvantage is that it is available only in English and not every question has answer.

There are many opportunities in front of these companies. The more population has Internet access in the future; Internet is going to be available on more electric devices. People are interested in lifelong learning and these sites encourage them for critical thinking. More, Quora has big potential in access its website in more languages.

The biggest threats are the cyberattacks for these websites and the dependence on Internet.

In the future they develop in different directions. Quora has a big potential to grow, however it is not going to be as big as Wikipedia. The financials are going to be the same, as well as the marketing actions.(no marketing). Quora has more potential in itself, because it was funded later, however Wikipedia can develop too, by introducing sharing articles on social media websites.



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Hutter, M., 2003. Information goods In R. Towse, ed. 2003. A Handbook of Cultural Economics. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, pp. 263-268.

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The Wikimedia Foundation, 2015. Annual Report [online] Available at: [Accessed 1. October 2015].

Varian, H. R., 1999. Markets for information goods. Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, 99.

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Wikipedia, 2015a. Mission Statement [online] Available at: [Accessed 1. October 2015]. Wikipedia, 2015b.

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Zhang, X. M., & Zhu, F, 2010. Group size and incentives to contribute: A natural experiment at Chinese Wikipedia. American Economic Review, Forthcoming, 101(4), pp. 1601-1615.


2 responses to “Wikipedia versus Quora”

  1. 439301cl says :

    Great opinion!

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