Skip to main content

Discovery brings Curiosity, a new kind of Q&A platform

curiosityQuestion: Do we need yet another Q&A platform? Answer: Probably not – the exception being Discovery Communication’s new service. Following in the wake of apps like Pupil and websites like Quora, Facebook Questions, and Yahoo Answers comes Curiosity. Curiosity is in the same vein as its predecessors, but skips over the crowd-sourcing element in favor of something none of them can guarantee: Answers from verifiable experts.

While Pupil pulls answers from its users according to what they deem their areas of expertise and Quora attracts an impressive array of authorities, Curiosity has the Discovery network to glean information from. Which means it’s a different kind of Q&A platform than many of its competitors: You can probably count on your hand (or not count at all) how many times you’ve seen queries about molecular nanotechnology on Yahoo Answers. And if you’re going to create a public forum for these types of discussions, you’re naturally going to need to have some heavyweights behind the responses. In order to provide answers you must verify yourself as an expert. “Please note that to apply to be an expert you must be an appropriate professional and/or an appropriately published author.” Interested parties must fill out an application, including background on their professional qualifications.

The purpose and experience behind Curiosity set it apart from its competitors, and that it makes a good case to convince us there actually is room left for another Q&A site. It isn’t interested in hosting the personal diatribes and (generally) intellectual debates, or some of the more trivial pursuits across Yahoo Answers and similar sites. Discovery wants to make Curiosity a portal for actual learning, not just discussion. In the muddle — albeit it very entertaining, addicting, and enlightening muddle — of all the current platforms for crowd-sourced information, it seems important to provide an option that users can return to again and again for in-depth answers. A place that doesn’t allow any one person to dominate the space with their own personal ramblings, something Quora has particularly been accused of (and tried to keep some of its users from doing).

It doesn’t hurt that the site has some serious Discovery network shine to it. There are professional-quality video responses to some answers and the layout is much sleeker than just about any other Q&A site. Of course, seeing as it’s something of an elite community, getting your questions answer isn’t guaranteed – especially as the site has just rolled out. But combine the obvious initial effort invested in Curiosity and general faith in Discovery’s ability to pull in various experts are a good start. The largest obstacle we can foresee is that the type of Internet users who gravitate to these platforms tend to be those that not only ask questions but like to hear themselves talk (or type, rather). Eliminating this option is eliminating a big part of what made Quora the viral sensation that it is.

Molly McHugh
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before coming to Digital Trends, Molly worked as a freelance writer, occasional photographer, and general technical lackey…
How to make a GIF from a YouTube video
woman sitting and using laptop

Sometimes, whether you're chatting with friends or posting on social media, words just aren't enough -- you need a GIF to fully convey your feelings. If there's a moment from a YouTube video that you want to snip into a GIF, the good news is that you don't need complex software to so it. There are now a bunch of ways to make a GIF from a YouTube video right in your browser.

If you want to use desktop software like Photoshop to make a GIF, then you'll need to download the YouTube video first before you can start making a GIF. However, if you don't want to go through that bother then there are several ways you can make a GIF right in your browser, without the need to download anything. That's ideal if you're working with a low-specced laptop or on a phone, as all the processing to make the GIF is done in the cloud rather than on your machine. With these options you can make quick and fun GIFs from YouTube videos in just a few minutes.
Use GIFs.com for great customization
Step 1: Find the YouTube video that you want to turn into a GIF (perhaps a NASA archive?) and copy its URL.

Read more
I paid Meta to ‘verify’ me — here’s what actually happened
An Instagram profile on an iPhone.

In the fall of 2023 I decided to do a little experiment in the height of the “blue check” hysteria. Twitter had shifted from verifying accounts based (more or less) on merit or importance and instead would let users pay for a blue checkmark. That obviously went (and still goes) badly. Meanwhile, Meta opened its own verification service earlier in the year, called Meta Verified.

Mostly aimed at “creators,” Meta Verified costs $15 a month and helps you “establish your account authenticity and help[s] your community know it’s the real us with a verified badge." It also gives you “proactive account protection” to help fight impersonation by (in part) requiring you to use two-factor authentication. You’ll also get direct account support “from a real person,” and exclusive features like stickers and stars.

Read more
Here’s how to delete your YouTube account on any device
How to delete your YouTube account

Wanting to get out of the YouTube business? If you want to delete your YouTube account, all you need to do is go to your YouTube Studio page, go to the Advanced Settings, and follow the section that will guide you to permanently delete your account. If you need help with these steps, or want to do so on a platform that isn't your computer, you can follow the steps below.

Note that the following steps will delete your YouTube channel, not your associated Google account.

Read more