When we began building QUOTE.fm, our plan was to put out a small site with the intent of sharing what’s worth reading. A while later, we discovered it’s not as easy as expected to communicate that QUOTE.fm is meant as a means to recommend stories worth reading, not as a platform to share funny tweets, jokes or Facebook updates. That’s why we came up with some things to emphasize this purpose.
One of them is curatorship. The thought behind it was that one could enlist oneself for a topic, then, if voted for curator, that person’s recommendations would score better in our ranking in Discover. One of the motivations was to establish a feeling for the fact that everyone is responsible for the quality of the platform. If you want to find great reads, share great reads. In case one of the curators recommends stuff that’s not worth reading, at least it was the community’s fault for voting for him or her.
Well, that didn’t play out exactly as well as we intended. Sure, on the one hand people used the voting system and users were happy to function as curators for a month, but on the other hand the feature didn’t have an impact big enough to justify all the crap around it. There were a couple of users who had enlisted themselves – and there was a whole bunch who didn’t. There was the voting page, which was kind of hidden, however not important enough to be featured anywhere else… and so much more. If a popular person was promoted to curatorship, there was no guarantee that he’d actually recommend anything. Let alone something worth reading.
Let’s just say: The intention was right, the execution not so much. We’re getting rid of the curatorship for now. This is not a defeat. Something similar to this will return at some point. We’ve learned a few things here that we’re going to adapt the next time. Thanks to everyone who used this feature and sorry to those who will miss it.
The good news is: The timing is kind of intentional. We wanted to straighten this out before the iPad app hits the AppStore, which will be soon. We’ve never been more excited and we hope you’ll stick with us.