I’ve just signed up for Quora: a platform specifically designed as a vehicle for people to ask questions and to gain group answers.
Once you’ve followed people in your usual networks like Twitter and Facebook, asking topical questions to do with your industry can reveal some very interesting answers and pave the way for some great discussions and information sharing from your peers:
What made me eventually commit to the network was the fact I was blown away by two things:
- The number of my peers already signed up: it was staggering
- The raw honesty from founders / business owners
His answer (highlighted in yellow) was refreshingly straight to the point and honest. No sugarcoating.
How many times have you seen honesty like that on Twitter? Or responses from the founders themselves on LinkedIn? Or even questions like that on Yahoo! Answers? I can recall many wrongly-presumed accusations flying about on Twitter which usually ended up in a storm of misunderstandings due to the 140 character limit restricting people from explaining themselves fully.
Could Quora be the ideal platform to generate discussions and evoke honesty on hot topics?
What’s also interesting is that Robert Scoble, one of FriendFeed’s die hard users, has taken to Quora too.
Despite all of this honesty and the questions that have fuelled massively active discussions, I must agree with what many are saying; Quora’s concept is nothing new. It does perform better than the rival Q&A platforms namely LinkedIn Groups, Yahoo! Answers and Twitter, but will that be enough to ensure it’s not just a flash in the pan?
Question from a friend: “Quora, isn’t that LinkedIn Questions, without LinkedIn?” – I kinda agree, what do you guys think?
— Joost de Valk (@yoast) January 5, 2011
Am I missing the point on Quora? isn’t it just the bastard child of Yahoo Answers and LinkedIn Groups? And we know how well those two work.
— Matty Curry (@mattycurry) January 5, 2011
On that basis, all that’s needed is one of the older networks to update their platforms to encourage more interaction (perhaps through easier sign ups, more open public conversations and a better layout) and Quora is blown out of the water. Noone wants an extra network to log into so the only way Quora can guarantee survival is if it integrates – perhaps one of the aforementioned networks will make an offer?
Another curious question about Quora: why can’t you link directly to answers? At least a USP of Quora would be the ability to quote people within high profile blogs and news articles. (Mmm links!)
Follow me on Quora: Joanna Butler