Why aren't Quora responses organized through upvotes

Starmind: For everyone who wants to use Quora in German

Starmind is a question-and-answer platform that, like Quora, places high demands on its members. In contrast to the US service, the startup's offer from near Zurich is also aimed at German-speaking users.


When the question-and-answer community Quora was suddenly on everyone's lips at the turn of the year and was also discovered by inquisitive users from German-speaking countries, the general enthusiasm was also mixed with criticism about the fact that the US platform only answered in English may. For everyone who sees this as an obstacle and unpleasant limitation, there is an alternative with Starmind.

The service, located in Meilen near Zurich, has existed for two years, but has recently adjusted its functionality and thus moved much closer to the basic concept of Quora: a community of competent people who ask and answer questions - primarily in German (but English content is also accepted).

Similar to Quora, the platform developed by Marc Vontobel and Pascal Kaufmann at the Institute for Computer Science at the University of Zurich relies on the principle of cohesion to ensure the highest possible quality, which is also the fundamental differentiator to numerous other question-and-answer services: Starmind can only be actively used by those who have an invitation. Existing members only receive these after they have reached a certain activity level.

Further parallels to Quora can be found in the possibility of evaluating answers through an "upvote" or "downvote" as well as in that the focus tends to be on academic topics and less on everyday banalities.


In contrast to Quora, Starmind does without a complex follower principle. However, individual subject areas can be subscribed to. In addition, all new, the best rated, most viewed or simply all unanswered questions can be displayed. It is also possible to navigate through subject areas, from the Internet to philosophy to biology. Contents published by Starmind are (with a few specific exceptions) also accessible to non-members (e.g. here).

Users receive points for activity on the site. The more you collect, the higher you climb the internal Starmind career ladder. Every newly registered member begins as a trainee and can then become a "partner" after moving through six other positions. 120,000 points are required for this. A leaderboard gives an overview of the most renowned Starmind users.

By reaching a new level in the Starmind hierarchy, users receive additional rights. In order to be able to invite friends to the service, you have to have assistant status, for example. Up- and downvoting is only possible from this position, which is why new members only have to ask or answer questions.


Anyone who wants to use the know-how of the Starmind community can either use a free community question or a so-called management question publish. The latter costs at least five euros and allows the respondents to be restricted to the status of "Junior Manager" or higher, includes an application mechanism for respondents and encourages private responses to come to light. The motivation of other users to participate in finding solutions to management questions: You can earn money yourself with qualitative answers.

Starmind is nicely designed and the user guidance is also well done. There also seems to be a hard core of regular users, which increases the incentive for new users to participate (nothing is worse than being in a virtual ghost town).

The strongly hierarchical approach is a matter of taste. I like the democratic principle of Quora better, where there are no "better off" with corresponding privileges. On the other hand, the different approach qualifies Starmind as a serious, alternative question-answer platform that is more than just "Quora in German".

In order to register with Starmind, you need an invitation as mentioned. You either leave your email address at starmind.com/de in order to receive an invitation one day, or you use this campaign link, which requires registration via your Facebook account and currently works without any restrictions.

Update: Starmind kindly provides us / you with 20 invitations:

Log in:

Code: 3D88 8DB1 C053

via twitter.com/sprain