Original link: https://blog.yitianshijie.net/2022/08/24/amateurism-ftw/
After the cat asked , “Is it possible to create another ancient Zhihu?”:
Zhihu ten years ago was a rare utopia. Shaking is officially banned, and the founders answer questions in person to maintain the atmosphere. Occasionally, people tell stories to attract praise, and they will be euphemistically discouraged by friends. At that time, writing answers was a very prudent thing. Everyone would read the questions carefully to ensure that the content they wrote was professional enough and exclusive enough that they dared to write them out, and they never dared to fool them.
The first stage is the invitation system plus the real-name system. Note that it is not the real name in the background, but the real name of the nickname. For a long time, ordinary users could only browse but not speak. They mainly relied on industry leaders and professionals to write answers, and onlookers liked and commented. At that time, there was no machine recommendation on Zhihu. It mainly relied on the founders and employees to manually like them and push good answers up. At that time, the founders of many companies wrote answers that were not seen in the media, and were relatively sincere and true.
This is the biggest misunderstanding of Zhihu. Although many people think that the early Zhihu was famous for its professionalism, the truth is quite the opposite. Zhihu is not a community that moves from professional Q&A to “hydration”.
Indeed, at the beginning of the business, Zhihu’s creed was to invite professionals to talk about issues within their profession. The founders believe that professionals can give better answers to many questions than journalists. But in fact, in the first two to three years (2011 to 2013), Zhihu was not a place for “industry bosses and professionals”. The founders did answer the questions in person (it needs to be pointed out that this is the norm for startups, and “personal exit” is not necessary), but many of the questions they answered were non-professional questions. As the first Zhihu user with 1,000 answers, I am obviously not a professional in any field, and my answers that meet Zhihu’s ideal can be said to be very few. Early Zhihu was full of people like me. Even if you are a professional in life, you don’t always talk about professionalism, and you can even say that you don’t talk about professionalism very much. Maowan listed some early users she was familiar with, including Zhou Yuan, Huang Jixin, Zhang Liang, Maggie, Liu Ruhua, Nei Er, Sato Kenichi, Ge Jin, Ying Dali, Raymond Wang, Cheng Yuan, Rio, Wang Junyu, etc. It is also listed below. Except for Sato Kenichi and Ge Jin who entered the venue a little later, the others did belong to the first batch of users. More than half of them are my real friends. And I can testify that most of them didn’t talk much about professional issues back then, and some people never talked about it because industry rules didn’t allow it.
In my personal memory, since about 2015, the situation of answering professional questions as professionals on Zhihu has gradually increased. The majority of Zhihu’s readers also seem to have grown to prefer such answers. As for whether this is good or bad, I’m not going to discuss it. I just want to restore history to its true colors. Zhihu does not start with a professional. In my opinion, the reason why people have good ideas about Zhihu in the early days is precisely because it is not a professional community. It tells us that you don’t need to have a specific certificate, business card or passport to pass on your complex and subtle emotions or thoughts to strangers. It’s a tribute to amateur sex. As long as there are people who continue to believe in the beauty of amateurism, it is possible to recreate similar communities.
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