Brian Balfour, Coelevate, Reforge

Read what else Brian Balfour is reading for work

Quibb lets you share what you're reading for work. Use Quibb to share news about your industry, discuss what matters, and see what colleagues are reading.

Our mission is to connect professionals over business news and informed commentary — targeting every industry, profession, and geography.

Likes Comments
Product UX + Content Strategy at Facebook

Fantastic; thanks for sharing your data back with the community. I'm finding the content and interactions here to be very high-quality as well. A much higher signal-to-noise ratio than elsewhere. :)

Founder at Market Loco

I value links I find on Quibb more than any other service and seem to spend more time on them - it's nice to see this reflected in measurable data. It's impressive that Quibb won in almost every metric.

Reply · Tweet ·

I think you're right to say that "smaller, focused, and curated" is the best kind of environment from which to get value, and I agree with Jonathon that the signal-to-noise ratio on Quibb is currently excellent. I'm really interested in how Quibb can sustain this 'focus' as it expands... If I'm feeling ambitious, I may post some related notes soon.

Engineer at Autodesk

The quality of the links and discussions is definitely of a very high quality. An observation: the membership is generally more startup/entrepreneurship oriented and the discussions follow the same pattern. Is this intentional? If so, are there any plans of expanding this? And if there are such plans, it'd be nice to have a discussion around expansion and it's possible effects on quality of content and adoption, usage etc.

Reply · Tweet ·
Coelevate, Reforge

Interesting questions. I'll have to defer to Sandi MacPherson on any official answers.

Reply · Tweet ·
Executive Advisor & Business Coach at Revelry Labs

Particularly interesting question during the same week that we learn Quora is slowing down. When it was the playground of early adopters and internet-first citizens, it boomed. But, as the content focus has diluted, so has the engagement. This is the question at the *top* of my mind for Quibb. I absolutely love it right now. The content is extremely relevant. But, the people are all extremely relevant too. Once all the people with extremely diverse interests start showing up, will my attention fade?

Maybe Sandy will find a way to make the platform behave more like Stack Exchange, where intrest groups are split?

Product Marketing at Kustomer

Thomas - yes, exactly. The key ways that Quibb can remain relevant imho: 1) cultivate interest groups or company networks where there is benefit to sharing great content; 2) start charging for the service of lightly moderating or curating the content; 3) have a twin focus on people who drive engagement and the type of content that causes a high velocity of sharing and comments.

Reply · Tweet ·
Quibb, Uber

Great writeup Brian. My own experience with 5 years of blogging is that ultimately, who's reading your stuff matters a lot more than aggregate numbers. For instance, I care a lot more about the community on Quibb than I do the audience on Linkedin, even though on an aggregate basis my LI audience is 10X bigger. The problem is that the 10X size is made up of random people from random companies and countries I don't care about. I'd rather write for the "right" audience, and it's nice to see that this focus on quality shows up in the per-user and per-action metrics as well.

Startup Edition, Product Hunt

I was going to make a similar comment until I read yours, Andrew.

Far too often people overvalue high volume traffic without considering the quality of those users. In the gaming space (where I'm from), marketers used to blindly throw money into multiple ad networks but of course not all users provide the same return. One user in the U.S. might monetize just as much as 30 in China. Most UA managers are now much more sophisticated, targeting channels and users that drive the highest ROI.

From a business perspective, Quibb's challenge is communicating and proving its value to publishers and content creators as its perceived impact is dwarfed by high-volume traffic sources (e.g. LinkedIn, Hacker News).

cc Hiten Shah

Quibb, Uber

It'd be wonderful if you didn't have to choose between Quibb's quality and Linkedin's mass. Maybe with consistent growth and increased density in the network, it'd be possible to beat the mass market guys in traffic, at least to the average link shared by the average user, driven by sheer engagement.

We're a long while from that though :) Quality may have to do, at least for now.


Congrats on the great engagement levels. Nice numbers! Quibb is what Linkedin Today was supposed to be, but ended up missing the mark as the desire to chase "influencers" ignored the GOLD in the curated and thoughtful sharing of a highly focused and engaged group. Quibb currently reflects the quality of the folks here, today. As we open up, as long as we hold to the tenor of the comments and shared articles, new users will do their best to emulate.

Reply · Tweet ·
Product Marketing at Kustomer

Brian - thanks for sharing this information - it's nice to see the gut feeling of "there's something interesting happening here" is contagious. Quibb is a great source of value to me already, and I'm learning just as much from the people who are commenting and the comments they are making as I am from the high quality of content being shared here.

Co-founder at Caret Labs

I agree 100% with what's been said here about the power of speaking directly to your target.

WRT to @Brian Balfour's question, I do think quality can scale as the community grows.

IMO, Quibb works so well right now because the majority of its members are people who regularly contribute elsewhere on the internet. They feel a sense of responsibility to add value with each interaction, effectively establishing Quibb's community etiquette as they go along, without any superordinate oversight (this comment thread is a perfect example of that :).

So long as this core group continues to be actively engaged the community structure will solidify organically. Thus by the time Quibb opens to a wider audience, community expectations will be clearly defined and any malice will be quickly corrected by its existing members.

That said, if Quibb chooses to scale more quickly, artificial safeguards (i.e. certain posting and commenting privileges) could be installed to expedite the formation I alluded to above.

All of this said, I think maintaining vertical-specific communities will be key; subreddits provide a perfect case study on this.

Reply · Tweet ·
Co-Founder at iobeam

Great post, Brian. I've been running a similar experiment for the past couple months (although not nearly as thorough as yours - nice work) where I'll cross-post across Tumblr, Twitter, Quora, and Quibb, trying to gauge how well they perform in 3 areas:

- Total reach (# readers)
- Quality of reach (people I know vs don't know)
- Level of conversation sparked

And here's what I'm anecdotally finding:

- Twitter: Broadcast to my professional network (people I largely know), but sparks limited conversation

- Tumblr: Essentially long-form Twitter, people I largely know, sparks little conversation

- Quora: Broadcast to a large professional network of people I largely don't know, but sparks limited conversation

- Quibb: Broadcast to a medium-but-hopefully-soon-large professional network of people I largely don't know, and sparks some awesome conversations

- LinkedIn: Lol, wut?

(If Quibb would let me, here's where I'd post a 2x2 grid, with Quibb somewhere in the upper right quadrant.)

Sandi/Quibb is definitely on to something. I'm a big fan. I worry about how growth might affect quality, but I think there's still a lot of room for growth before it starts to feel crowded. (And I'm personally trying to do my part to help it grow.)

If Quibb ever did start to feel crowded, I'd chalk that up as one of those "good problems to have", and I'm sure Sandi and the Quibb community would find a way to solve it.

So, a question I personally find more interesting at the moment: How do we help Quibb grow?

Reply · Tweet ·
CPO and Co-Founder at Ladder Digital

Love this - wish more people would share their metrics like you do. I just had a similar finding - we launched our blog just over a month ago and Quibb has been our biggest source of referral traffic AND the quality of the people viewing is tremendous. You can read the case study here:

Buford Taylor, Tech Lead at Reforge Buford Taylor
Tech Lead at Reforge