Well, do you Quora? Huh?
At least in the circles of social media, its become a very hot question. And if you do, the next hot question is, “How does it work?”
For the uninitiated, Quora is a collection of crowd-sourced questions, categorized by the crowd and answered by the crowd. Kind of Wiki for asking questions. (BTW, Quora is another in the long line of start-up companies that for some reason either spent way too much time, or not enough time working on a name)
The questions have a pretty broad range–here is a sample from my home screen:
Similar to other social networking sites, you can follow people, and they can follow you. There are connections to Facebook and Twitter than will share your questions and answers with your broader social networks and you can vote up or down questions and responses.
The user can categorize questions as well as the people who answer it. You can also comment directly on another user’s response.
After using Quora for a few days here are some quick gut checks that are somewhere between interesting and quirky:
- To add a question, you type into what looks like a search box, in this age of over Google its a little counter intuitive.
- When setting up a profile, you pick topics you are interested in (and it makes some recommendations based on something but not sure what) and you can always add more. However, there is not a very effective way to search other questions. The result of this is there are probably 2000+ questions that circle around the Goldman/Facebook deal and none of them rise to an authoritative voice.
- It seems like the designers/UX engineers went out of their way to be out of the box, the UI takes some getting used to
- Although I have my blog registered into my profile, I am not sure what that does or what the interaction between the site and my blog is.
That said, there are some interesting components to this as well–I found a great place to eat lunch scanning through the recommendations of downtown restaurants yesterday, and so far I have not seen (I am sure there are a bunch there) any flame wars.
As always, dip in and see what it’s about. As someone who does not use Wikipedia all that much, if the content resonates this could be a more direct way to get answers.