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Fluther is a free Q&A collective that specializes in getting
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Our Vision for Fluther

3:47 pm

When Andrew and I started Fluther over three years ago, we had a clear vision: we wanted to help people solve problems, in real-time, by matching questions to the right people. Our goal: be the best place to ask a question.

Looking at Fluther today, it’s remarkably close to what we envisioned. There are tons of smart people answering and helping tons of other smart people. It has also evolved in many ways we didn’t foresee, and we’ve tried to adapt it organically according to the community’s needs.

As more time has passed, we’ve had a chance to refine our vision of what Fluther is and where we’re going.

Federated Fluther

federated fluthers

If you’ve been reading the blog (or you are a Fluther beta-tester), you’ve probably heard a little about Federated Fluther. Federated Fluther is our new Q&A platform that allows any site to have their own Q&A area, powered by Fluther.

Besides getting access to our powerful technology, the special part about Federated Fluther is that it’s part of the Fluther collective. Questions asked at partner sites can be answered at, and questions asked at can be answered by experts on partner sites.

This cross-pollination was a unique approach for us to take, and it was guided by our core vision. We’re not simply interested in selling a product–we want to increase the scale of our knowledge network, allowing for faster and better answers from more people. This gateway enables our partners to get their initial momentum going and it helps Fluther extend our reach, ultimately giving everyone better access to more knowledge.

We see Fluther as bigger than just a website, we see it as a thriving community that spans across thousands of sites and as the backbone of Q&A on the web.

Knowledge Networking

Federated Fluther is only one part of a greater movement we’re seeing begin: knowledge networking. What is it? Knowledge networking is connecting with people based on common interests and expertise.

Unlike social networking, where you connect based on who you know, knowledge networking connects people based on what you know.

Mostly by accident, we discovered a wonderful thing about answering and asking questions: it’s also a great way to get to know people. You start by just following your curiosity, and suddenly you’ve built up a network of new and interesting people.

Soon we’ll be fostering this even more. We’re making new features that will enable better discovery of topics and people, and allow easier connections between the two. We’re aiming to make profiles more accurate and dynamic, and also more transparent. You’ll have more refined control, and you’ll get better connected to interesting questions and people.

As we look towards the future of Fluther, we’re determined to be a fantastic hub of knowledge networking–asking, learning, sharing, and meeting new great people.

The Future

I believe Q&A is still in its infancy. There are many sites with different approaches, but the one thing we can all agree upon is that Q&A is going to be huge in the coming years. In truth, now most people ask questions on the Internet through Google, often by searching for a full question in the search bar, like “What are some jobs that allow for travel opportunities?”. But I think in the next five years people are going to start gradually asking those questions directly instead of searching for them. And when hundreds of millions of people start asking questions instead of searching for them, the real age of Q&A will rise.

Many things have changed, but the core vision is the same: we’re still committed to being the best place to ask a question.

What are we doing now? Lots. We think Fluther can be better in many ways: easier, faster, more accurate, more fun, and with more great people. To get this done, we’re going to continue to grow the team. Just a year ago it was only Andrew and me–and now we have a team of six, and we’ll be growing even more in the next year. We’re looking to partner with new sites, and we’re going to build awesome stuff along the way, all the while remembering that our most important feature is you.

We couldn’t be more proud of how the community has grown since we first started. We could have only dreamed how much time, energy and love you’d pour into Fluther, and we will always be grateful for that. Your help building this community, answering our questions, and becoming our friends has ultimately created something richer than we thought possible.

The future is looking bright–we can’t wait to see where it goes from here.