Is Quora the Next Big Social Media Site?

social media toolsAre you considering using Quora? Has all the buzz got you wondering if it’s worth it? Keep reading for my full review.

When I first heard about Quora, the conversation went a little like this:

Jill: “Have you heard of Quora? It’s a question and answer site.”
Jack: “You mean like Yahoo Answers?”
Jill: “No, it’s full of experts who give you the best answers.”
Jack: “You mean like LinkedIn Answers?”
Jill: “No, the community votes for the best answer and they can hide irrelevant answers.”

There you have it. Quora is what happens if every Wikipedia article was turned into a Jeopardy question and then answered with the same Wikipedia article, although much less accurate, completely subjective and much more self-promoting.

quora

Too many of the answers are self promotional here.

I’m not inviting Lewis Howes to this… He’s already on a better platform—LinkedIn.

Of course this was just my first impression of Quora. After some prodding and poking, I decided to check the place out for myself. Let’s see how close my initial thoughts were to reality.

What Is Quora?

Quora calls itself a “continuing collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone that uses it.” Which sounds great until you register and see the stream.

The truth is that Quora is organized more like a trunk full of toys that a group of five-year-olds continually use, edit and organize as they see fit.

Never fear, because unlike most children’s rooms, Quora has a great search function and gives really good information once you’ve narrowed down on a question.

The Benefits of Quora

In fact, despite my sarcasm, Quora has a number of fantastic opportunities for the social media ninja out there.

1. Quora is a great place to find content ideas.

Don’t know what to blog about? Find out what your audience wants to know about your industry, and blog about that! Quora can be a great market research tool for bloggers to make sure that their content is relevant to their actual audience, and not just a good idea to them.

2. Quora is a great place to find experts.

The one thing Quora has a lot of is experts. Every question has a democratically voted-on “Best Answer,” and by consequence, “Best Answerer.” Connecting with these people will give you tons of experts in an industry to pick the brain of or hobnob with. Which brings us to Quora’s next benefit.

3. Quora provides networking opportunity.

It’s tough being a “nobody” in any industry, but networking with the smartest and most popular of the bunch is a good way to increase your own visibility. Quora gives you the chance to connect with experts—not only on Quora, but also on the social network of the expert’s choice, depending on how many of their social networks they’ve connected to their profile.

4. Find joint venture opportunities on Quora.

The real benefit of Quora has nothing to do with questions and answers. The real power is connecting with very smart people to do business together. If I were to use Quora as a strategic resource, I would only connect with “Best Answerers” and try to do joint venture deals with them. They’re already ambitious, as they’re staking claim to a social network that’s only popular with die-hard social media users. They’re investing time hoping that Quora works out, so they shouldn’t have an issue investing in a joint venture deal for the promise of a future benefit. And finally, it’s likely that they have, or are trying to grow, an audience for their expertise, so you can offer to showcase them to your audience in return for the same or another benefit.

The Disadvantages of Quora

It ain’t all sunflowers and origami Swans. As much as I’d like to end this article with all of the benefits of Quora, the truth is that there are some glaring holes in the platform, as there are with any new social platform. Let me bring you up to speed.

1. There is such a thing as a stupid question.

Your sixth-grade teacher was lying to you. If you’re a professional or a marketer looking to answer serious questions about your core industry to raise your exposure level, you’ll run into many questions like this one:

what floats

Poo poo also floats in water. Next question.

Stick to targeted searches, my friends.

2. Quora is the self-promotion capital of the world.

You knew this was coming. The point of your business is to make profit. You get profit from customers. And you get customers by being the best, or just positioning yourself as the best. Unfortunately this kind of member has cheapened the experience and potential of Quora. No one answers questions for the greater good of the question; everyone has an angle. Wikipedia had it right—keep it about the info. Quora isn’t there yet. Not even close.

3. Wait, have you heard of LinkedIn Answers?

I wasn’t joking earlier. Nothing about Quora screams unique.

LinkedIn Answers is more professional, it’s already tied to your professional profile and there are already 100 million users there. Now I’m all for competition, but the simple act of allowing users to vote answers up or down doesn’t make a new platform.

Maybe this point of view will make me change my mind:

linkedin answers

Yeah. That’s the point… (see yellow box above)

Besides being completely wrong (Quora allows you to tie all aspects of your professional life into your profile), as a marketer, why wouldn’t you want something you say to be linked to you professionally? The only reason that I can think of is that you’re saying something you shouldn’t be saying, or you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Finally, a difference! On Quora, maturity and accountability are optional.

Final Thoughts

I know I sound negative, but think about this. There’s already a place where you can get answers from professionals, then look at their profile to connect with them for more information, and learn their life story. It’s called LinkedIn, and it’s pretty awesome. Apparently 100 million people agree.

Also, there’s already a place where we’ve decided to organize the world’s information so high-school and early college students don’t have to study nearly as hard as they tell their parents they are. It’s called Wikipedia, and it already has a pretty awesome community that’s working on that whole “keeping the information awesome and reputable” thing. Add that to the fact that they already have a kind of voting system where inaccurate info just disappears. Oh, and they have to use footnotes too.

We need to end the habit of creating platforms that are simply the same as platform ‘x’ but with feature ‘y.’ It’s not worth the time or effort, nor is it particularly useful to anyone to uproot their presence or add another burden to their social media plate.

The only thing Quora introduces that makes it different from my previous two examples is ego and peer pressure. Now I can add my name and my brand to the knowledge that I’m giving the world. Now I can publicize that it was me who knew the most about industry X on Twitter, and every other social platform that we’ve been trying to take the ego out of for the past 2 years.

And after that, I can bring my swarm of Twitter followers to the platform to ensure that my answers are voted to the top, giving me the title of Smartest Question Answerer Ever, and possibly even acquire the Power of Grey Skull.

Quora is an adolescent version of two platforms that we already have mature versions of. What’s that saying? “When I was a child, I spoke as a child…”? Well ten years ago, I would have LOVED Quora, but hopefully, the social media industry is mature enough to realize we have the solutions we need to be successful, and not abandon them for something new and shiny for new-and-shiny’s sake.

Have you used Quora yet? How was your experience? I’d love to hear your take on social media’s newest “it” platform. Leave your comments in the box below.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author, Elijah Young

Elijah R. Young is the lead strategist and owner of Social Talk Live. He's also a business strategist who helps existing and new companies promote and grow their business. Other posts by »




More Info
  • http://twitter.com/virtualewit Pauline Randall

    Ah Elijah, you speak much sense! I’ve really tried hard to like Quora but I can’t. I’m sure it has some redeeming features in there but not enough to make me spend much time there.

    One ‘feature’ which irked me from the start was the ability to edit a question. Now I know there are some pretty stupid questions (as evidenced above) but there really has to be little else that is as infuriating as someone changing the question you asked! It’s now NOT the question you asked! Maybe it’s a way of saying ‘I don’t know the answer to this question but if I change it I’ll be able to answer it’. So wrong!

    I’ll drop back in from time to time but I think I’ll be sticking with LinkedIn and Wikipedia for the forseeable future!

  • http://blog.socialmediahq.com/ Nick Robinson

    I would say the biggest benefit to Quora is the search function. I think search is a little better than Linkedin Answers. On Quora, users can easily find subjects they want to start conversations around.

  • Luke

    Being the early adaptor I am I joined up and was so solidly underwhelmed. Have really tried to use the site but can’t see it being useful for me at all. If I had a question I’d either google it or ask on twitter.

  • http://renestalder.me/ René Stalder

    Quora is something like stackoverflow but for all topics out there. I’m really happy with it. How often I typed a question in the search field of Google? Why isn’t there a platform for doing this thing? Quora is it and Quora does it in a modern way. For example, I had a question for Microsofts WebMatrix Software. I created my question on Quora and got my answer from the creator of WebMatrix.

  • Cpickett

    I just wanted to say I appreciate this review. I’ve been reading/hearing a lot about it, but hadn’t really read a pros/cons list like this. Very helpful, thank you!

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Pauline,

    I really think Quora is good for market research, i found some real help there for a couple of products I’m creating, but it’s in no way the game changer that some hype it up to be. Editing your questions is a weird feature, I wonder what the supposed benefit of this was?

    What’s really important is that you took the time to check out my article, I appreciate that :-)

    Elijah

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    I would completely agree with that. Thanks Nick!

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Ha! I completely forgot Google…how lazy of me! Maybe Quora will mature into something really useful…hopefully. Thanks so much for reading Luke.

    Elijah

  • http://www.marketingmy.co.uk/blog Katherine Salt

    I tried it briefly but didn’t take to it much… seems a bit like the wild west of Q&As. I do agree with the point about LinkedIn with your professional brand. Having 2 businesses, lingerie and social media consultancy I am alway reluctant to mix the two as I wouldn’t want my social media business taken less seriously because I am engaging in conversations about bra size and other lacy frilly topics.

    I will probably stick to LinkedIn answers for the social media and my alter ego with continue with Yahoo Answers for the lingerie Q’s.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Thanks for this perspective on Quora. It seems like certain niches are really finding success here, and I’m glad that you’re happy with the platform. It seems like the creator of Webmatrix is also on their p’s and q’s in terms of early adoption. I’m glad you two got to link together.

    Elijah

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    No worries…I just hope I don’t get attacked with pitchforks for the review :-)

    Elijah

  • http://www.seobooklab.com/ Ram Babu SEO

    of course it would be benefit us, Quora has great features to giving refined answers from the experts, also helping people to market through .. can anyone send me invitation at rambabu.seo@gmail.com for Quora, so i can start contributing in there . .thanks

  • http://twitter.com/FrozenFabulist John Morrow

    I wrote about this just the other day – I enjoy Quora as an entertainment site (yes, I like to argue over inane questions) but it’s got some serious flaws as a “research” site. It also has an unfortunate elitist culture amongst it’s admins that sees a lot of interesting answers shut down for no good reason.

    My full take is here: http://bit.ly/eviYIY

  • judy shapiro

    You miss for me what is the biggest issue around Quora.

    Unlike other QA platforms where participation is voluntary – in Quora you are dragged into the ecosystem because people start following you – whether or not you want to participate.

    This requires you to do something since you dont want to be rude to people who have followed you. This is maddening – I dont have time to manage yet another social network and Quora created one for me without my approval.

    Makes me crazy TBH.

    Judy Shapiro

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    I don’t think you need an invitation to join. http://www.quora.com

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Liked your article John, I think we’re in the same boat on some aspects of the site. Thanks for sharing your side.

    Elijah

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Thanks so much Pauline, that feature does seem really weird, wonder what the thought process was behind it….

    Elijah

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    That’s a really good point Judy. People can follow you on Facebook and Twitter but you have to opt back in to see their feeds, not so on Quora. I completely missed that one. I appreciate you throwing your side of the story in, and of course, reading the article in the first place.

    Elijah

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Wild west…I like it. It has both the mythology and the recklessness to qualify. Can I borrow that for next time?

    Elijah

  • http://www.marketingmy.co.uk/blog Katherine Salt

    Of course you can :o )

  • AD

    At first time quora seem like weired but after getting really value of question and share there quora experts it seems best community. You will find there really researchers, publishers and speakers not just seeders. Good thought here, feels pleasant.

  • http://blog.greenstaysinfrance.co.uk Kmrodde

    you need an invite if you live in Europe!

  • http://eroticfreepress.org Publisher, Erotic Free Press

    Elijah,

    The 5 minutes I spent reading your article saved me WEEKS in time I would have spent “trying to get” Quora. I’m especially sensitive to these types of issues after spending years “trying to get” Twitter which I viewed as nothing more than a rehash of Facebook’s “status” at the time and still believe but it’s still floating out there. I went to Quora last week and spent about an hour there and the immediate vibe I got was “rude and negative”. One particular thread that was up top in the “How to use Quora” by some self important “visionary” or “guru” telling new members to basically “sit down and shut up until you’ve been around a while” was particularly disturbing. Then I looked up the person who wrote it…..(fat chic)….revenge of the nerds I thought and went back to LinkedIn.

    Thanks Elijah, I owe you a week’s vacation in sunny Scottsdale and my sofa’s got your name on it!

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    I never say that my opinion is law, thank for giving me another perspective on the site.

    Elijah

  • http://www.trio180i.com Rich

    Excellent observations. I really do not have time to be a member of yet another me too network. Just ask the guys at Plaxo.

  • Paul

    Elijah- Earlier this month I wrote an antithesis to your article, but my focus was more to why Quora will be bigger than Twitter (see mymarketer.net for the article and the demotivator I created around it). Truthfully, I think it is much too early to really know, but I do strongly believe Quora will be a huge player in the upcoming future.

    I think your article hit some great points, but I think you are missing out on a significant reality: Quora’s demographic is much different than what you noted in your arguments. Quora is not geared specificly to professionals, like LinkedIn, nor to the general public, like Wikipedia. It does blend aspects of both these demographics, but it is more focused on the intense social media crowd who already interacts with each other in a very similar way.

    In my opinion, Yahoo Answers is a far cry in reaching this demographic, as is LinkedIn (not everyone wants their digital resume to be associated with their online communications), and especially not Google (even with their social additions to their algorithms they still are a cold, cold machine).

    Overall, Quora brings new direction to an old problem–how to find the best information for my answers. Are they the end-all-be-all? No, not even close, but they are a lot better than most (at least for me). When it comes to the social media field, I think those who participate early on will discover a significant advantage than those who hold off and throw rocks =). ~Paul W.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    I actually read that same thread for Quora beginners, and I agree that the site is a bit high on itself.

    Enjoy that vacation, hit me up on skype and we’ll share a drink virtually until the next time I get out west.

    Skype: ElijahRYoung

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    LOL @ Plaxo …

    I can’t even think of anything to add to this…

  • http://twitter.com/transPR Darrel W. Cole

    Elijah,
    Good, fair responses from others here. And you summed up my initial “what’s the points” ever since I signed up, followed some questions, followed some folks I know from Twitter et al, and got followed back. I think the bottom line for me is I wanted to be able to utilize this for clients, to be able to get out a message to the public in another way. Alas, I still can’t see pitching this to clients and can’t find a way this would be a benefit when you look at time invested vs. return. I have spent many hours trying to GET something more, and hoped to find the button that turns on the light bulb. I still keep thinking I can find it, and won’t give up yet, but my attention span is waning.
    Good thoughtful post. Thanks for putting the time in.

  • Victor

    Why is signing up restricted to an invitation?

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    I think my concern is a larger one, and one that Quora (rightfully or not) is getting the brunt of in this article.

    Knowem.com offers a service that registers you for 300+ social networks, there are around 700 networks flailing about in the social space, and that’s not counting forums and the like. Social networks that exist as spinoffs of others is a problem for the simple fact that marketers are completely sucking at using the ones they have the right way. And adding new useless tools to the mix isn’t helping.

    I worry that anointing these “rehashed” networks as “the next coming” will only result in confusion, and ultimately exploitation of marketers who want to “be in the know” and join a platform to get a result that they could already be getting somewhere else.

    To be fair, Quora doesn’t advertise itself as you describe it. It doesn’t aim to be a niche site, and maybe it should. It aims to be a large market tool, and I think it fails at that goal.

    I also have a problem with companies that start with much hype and zero hints of a business model, but that’s the serial entrepreneur in me.

    I love conversations like this because we get to go deeper than the 1200 or so words in the blog, so thanks Paul for your insight, maybe we can continue this in a talk on one of our sites?

    @ElijahRYoung

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    For your clients, think of it as a JV tool. I don’t know what industry they’re in, but they can do audience shares with some of the niche experts on Quora. This gets their message out and also gives them a new strategic partner to possibly create information products with, etc.

    There’s always a way to use a tool. Drop me a line on twitter and we can hash something out if you’re still looking.

    @elijahryoung

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    I can’t answer that one. I think they are restricting it to the US for now :-(

  • http://twitter.com/MHendersonNY Michael Henderson

    Elijah: This is the most clear and concise analysis of Quora I have seen to date. Well done and thanks! The Bad thing is that I agree Pauline: I’ll be sticking with LinkedIn and Wikipedia. I have tried, and tried, and tried to like Quora, to no avail. I usually give new sites 2-3 tries. I register, suss out ease of usability and do a personal rating on things such as user interface, site intuitiveness and logic and if i like it, I’m loyal. If not, I wait a couple of weeks and try it all over again (as I have done with Quora – 3 times, thus far). I can safely say, I have loads more to do with my time than TRY to like Quora. A site is like a celebrity: It’s either got an X factor or not. My vote for Quora…Not!

  • ruthseeley

    I agree with you that Quora really provides nothing LinkedIn doesn’t do better. But what IS it about LinkedIn and its PR and marketing efforts that just isn’t working? When you say ‘LinkedIn’ to people, 9/10 respond, ‘boring.’ Perhaps it’s the interface. It’s a very valuable tool in the social media arsenal. But it really needs a relaunch/image makeover.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    The more I think about it, the more I think Quora should advertise itself as a niche site instead of trying to take on the world all at once. Facebook accepted it’s niche before it grew. everyone wants to be big first, and it doesn’t work that way.

  • Harry J Tucci Jr

    An eye opening article for me. I jumpedon the Quora bandwagon a little over a month ago because I thought it was the next up and coming thing. I did find it disjointed but thought that was more initial ineptness and determined to stick with it until I had mastered it. Your article certainly will make me rexamine Quora and thankfully so. Between blogging, Twirrer, LinkedIn and Facebook I find it hard. To get the time to manage another site but other “experts” were saying to get into Quora so I did.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Maybe Linkedin is too tied to it’s “professional” image to do a makeover, but adding “Facebook-like” functionality is a step in the right direction. I wonder if the Linkedin populace would complain as much as the Facebook audience does during an interface change.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    You bring to light a problem in this industry, listening to experts is good, but it’s imperative to measure any expert advice against your own business goals before moving to action. I think the blind following is more of a sign of the nascence of the industry as a whole, than a flaw in business owners. I hope the industry matures in the next couple of years and that levels off.

    Elijah

  • http://twitter.com/JoAnnsWorld JoAnn Candelaria

    Elijah, Thanks for the information. I hadn’t had time to find out exactly what Quora was and whether or not it would be useful for me. Your post has helped me to decide that I don’t need to look into Quora further, at this time anyway.

    Most of all, I really appreciate the honesty in your post. I get tired of reading the total love affairs that posters have with the platforms they are pushing. Honest summaries and reviews are hard to find but are the most beneficial.

    Thanks again,
    JoAnn

  • http://twitter.com/JeffMoskovitz JeffMoskovitz

    Thanks for the article, Elijah. I thought it was just me. I signed up, signed on, and was instantly greeted with what appeared to me like chaos. I then read a post (I’m not sure why – it just seemed to be in my face) in which the “expert” on Quora (after being a member for two whole weeks) recited a litany of things I should not/could not/dare not do under penalty of death. I felt like I was being admonished just for signing up. Not that I speak from experience, but consider a prison inmate who arrives on death row his first day. A disinterested guard recites a long list of cell block rules, hands you a bar of soap, a pair of slippers and an orange jumpsuit, then escorts you to your cell.

    Anyway, I ignored this individual’s advice, and surfed around for two hours until I realized that I wasn’t sure why I was there. I haven’t been back since. I’m sure the site will eventually evolve, but to me, it felt like digital anarchy. Quora is not LinkedIn and it’s not Wikipedia, so my question is, what does it want to be when it grows up?

  • http://nateriggs.com/ nateriggs

    Nice write up Elijah. Really comprehensive breakdown of the good, bad and ugly of the newest shiny object out there.

    Makes me wonder though – is there still hope for Quora? In theory, it really is a great idea, but as you point out, there are tons of problems. Couple that with a set of more established competitive technologies that have had years to mature, both in relation to platform but also the culture that’s been driven by platform users.

    Compared to Wikipedia and LinkedIn, Quora is still an infant. In your opinion, what needs to happen to make Quora more viable. And if that’s even possible, how long do you think it will take to shake out?

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Thank you for that JoAnn, i was worried about this one in particular because of that very fact. Always remember that my opinion is only one of many. I would never say that you shouldn’t at least give it a realistic once-over. I think there are some really profitable Joint venture Partnerships to be had there.

    Give it a shot, and i’ll be excited to hear your thoughts :-)

    Elijah

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Whoa….great question! I think a number of web 2.0 companies have no clue what they want to be. I think this lack of vision is the reason that they fail at an alarming rate. Maybe you should post that question on Quora and see what they say :-)

    Elijah

  • http://www.facebook.com/liam.d.ferguson Liam D. Ferguson

    Elijah – many thanks for the useful article. I think I’ll pass on Quora. Forgive me for taking this thread off-topic for a moment, but you use LinkedIn answers as one of your main comparisons. I’ve looked around the answers site on LinkedIn and I can’t see anywhere that you can restrict your search to one country. For example, my field of expertise is only valid in my own country, Ireland. Is there any way of viewing Q&As on LinkedIn that are country-specific? Viewing Q&As from the US on my area of business, while interesting, is largely irrelevant to me.

  • http://www.jamiebeckland.com/ Jamie Beckland

    If you’re outside the US, they re-institution invite-only. See details: http://www.quora.com/Why-has-Quora-gone-back-to-invite-only-access-recently-Jan-2011

  • http://twitter.com/MorganGrahamEFM Morgan Graham

    Best post on Quora I have read to date! Our brainwaves think alike ;)

  • http://uk.linkedin.com/in/suebeckingham Sue Beckingham

    Just to add I joined Quora from the UK and did not need an invite. In terms of how useful it has been I’m still sitting on the fence.

  • http://theworkingcaregiver.wordpress.com/ theworkingcaregiver

    Elijah, thanks for telling us about this….I just had someone send me an invite to Quora this past weekend!

  • Joshua Smith

    Elijah, Thanks for the good content. If I have a social media question I get the answer here, not Quora. I’ll take a look for myself maybe I can answer some insurance questions.

  • DM

    yeah…no thanks…looks like a crap site

  • Paul

    Elijah- Don’t feel you have to respond to this, since I know you are keeping up with the hundreds of comments coming your way =). First, I do want to say that I liked your article, even though I didn’t agree with its conclusion. I meant to add that in my initial response.

    You are right, in the fact that Quora doesn’t bill itself in the demographic I shared, but it is that demographic it hits (which does give it value). I think the biggest flaw in your article is that you feel that Quora doesn’t have a place in the niche it is going after; that there are better tools which provide value.

    It is this notion that I disagree with. Networks like LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Twitter, Facebook, and even Google are not at the core focusing on personalized Q&A. Only Yahoo Answers can truly say that, and frankly I welcome any new social Q&A site that can improve what Yahoo Answers has pioneered.

    Ultimately, there will always be a plethora of social networks, but this shouldn’t be a reason for another one to not come into existance and rise to the top. If so, Facebook would never have come about (or even Google for that matter), and we would all be stuck with MySpace and Yahoo!

    Anyway, that’s my two cents, but again, I appreciate your time and effort on this subject. Good luck keeping up with everyone’s comments, I think you unearthed a topic that many people have questions about but not many answers for Ü. ~Paul W.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Quora should specialize in something. Decide what community they want to attract and get their identity and systems set with that individual community, then open up to new niches…I would try that.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Thanks Morgan!

  • http://www.bulkofficesupply.com/ ALange44

    Yeah, this seemed pretty derivative to me. That being said, I didn’t realize LinkedIn Answers was actually useful or popular. Guess I’ll have to check it out.

  • http://socialmediasalon.wordpress.com/ Alexandra

    This is similar to ChaCha except of course that ChaCha pays their experts to answer questions.I have yet to sign-up due to the redundancy of the idea, though I may yet give it a shot based on the benefits you’ve outlined here.

  • http://blog.annaspargoryan.com/ annaspargoryan

    It makes me sad that you turned one of the best Monty Python moments of all time into an example of poor question asking ;(

    I like the idea of Quora and the potential opportunities for its use as a business tool. My concern is that what will actually happen is a bunch of businesses will sit around and participate in mutual masturbation for a while, as the site overall gives the impression of being elitist and exclusive. On the other hand, Twitter was like that for a good while and now I wouldn’t be without it.

    I’m also a little irritated by investing time as an expert to contribute to a site that earns revenue from the credibility of my content.

  • http://remarkablogger.com Michael Martine

    I count myself ahead of the curve by already dismissing and ignoring Quora after exploring it for a while.

    I’m only somewhat kidding. I think if you’re going to really make Quora work you have to forget about what you could get out of it and focus on what you have to give, end of story.

  • Jaxi West

    Your all missing a very big (already successful) one that outranks Quora – especially in the sophisitication of questions and answers http://Focus.com

    For those of us who aren’t avid linkedin fans – Focus offers a great place. But even if you are a linkedin fan – this is a great place to put yourself – and also not be drowned out by the hundreds of thousands that are currently on Linkedin participating in the Q&As. It’s much more user friendly as well. I wasn’t on it long and I made 2 exceptional new colleagues/friends. Serious quality is here.

    The Focus staff is very friendly and take users suggestions seriously and they really value you. You are not an invisible number. I have interacted with them on the phone and in email. Right now, no cost. They are out of San Francisco.

  • http://twitter.com/JeffMoskovitz JeffMoskovitz

    Elijah, I would ask that question, but, honestly I’m afraid I might have to tangle with the aforementioned self-proclaimed Quora gatekeeper that continues to haunt me in my dreams :) You’re right, though. I think a lot of these companies, even the most successful ones, initially have a vague idea of their business model as they try to reach a critical mass. History tells us that all of those eyeballs have to be worth something. Then, they figure it out (hopefully), revise, and refine their model,as they evolve.. So, in that respect, there’s always hope.

  • http://twitter.com/Social_Champion Sabine Taylor

    Quora has been OK for me. Where I can add value…..I answer questions and to post on my Facebook business page….which helps keep with mindshare. I however did ask a question on how to use Location Based Services with Open houses…..but nobody answered. Hopefully someone will.

  • http://www.tcr-marketing.com Stacey

    I considered joining just to see what it was all about but I do NOT like the fact that it requires your Facebook login and password and also makes you consent to the application accessing ALL of your info on Facebook even when you are not using FB.

  • http://www.marketingmy.co.uk/blog Katherine Salt

    Mike Stenger mentioned that it was only overseas people that need and invitation. Not sure if it’s all countries, pretty sure I had it back in the UK but not here in BA.

  • http://www.seobooklab.com/ Ram Babu SEO

    hello Elijah, there is message while i was going to sign up
    “Sorry, you must have an invitation to create an account on Quora.”
    how can i do that if there any another way to register then guide me or ignore me if don’t want to let me join over there . . i am just requesting you people. i am starter in social media platform this line. . .next hi Kmrodde, i live India there is necessary first invitation to join . . .

  • http://www.thewebcitizen.com Ilias Chelidonis

    Hey Elijah, whether Quora is going to be big or not time will show, the thing is that at least for now it is not for everyone, it requires invitation so it is questionable whether it can scale.

    Elias

  • http://www.facebook.com/fluffyc Melanie Wadsworth

    I am on Quora and was excited when i first started using it because it was informative and professional. I also read that message that others have spoken about in these comments from the woman who was very threatening about the way to use and NOT USE Quora … she went a bit far, to put it mildly! I had two incidents on Quora that really turned me off. One was that someone didn’t like my answer to a question, clicked on the not helpful button and it was removed immediately … it wasn’t spam or anything – but got dumped! The second incident was when one of the moderators asked me in an email to edit my response because i didn’t capitalize certain words! I tend to write very quickly and i often don’t consider perfect grammar because i figure that people reading my comments will get the gist of what i’m trying to say though i do always check my spelling. So, now when i go on Quora and if i feel like responding to a question – i feel so much pressure that i cannot express my thoughts freely and that makes my writing awkward. I also dislike that i get a million email notifications when one person asks or answers a question on the topics i am interested in. I feel the same way about LinkedIn … i’m not sure how either one of these sites could improve on this – because there are times when i would like to be notified – but getting 20+ notifications a day is a bit much. My two cents.

  • melanie wadsworth

    hello

  • melanie wadsworth

    hello

  • Melanie Wadsworth

    Sorry about the blue profile pic – i had it on Facebook for a week and although it has changed since then it hasn’t changed on this site yet – i do in fact have a face – lol

  • Melanie Wadsworth

    OK – my face is back – no more blue – thank you

  • Melanie Wadsworth

    sorry everyone !!! I was just trying to test to see if my face came back – please remove the “hello” tests SME … i apologize

  • http://style.courtneyparham.com/ Courtney Parham

    I agree with most of what Pauline wrote. I love social media, but since I’m already a heavy user of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, I don’t want to join yet another social network. Specifically, I don’t see enough unique value in Quora to allocate additional time to using the site.

  • http://twitter.com/danieljl דניאל ליפסון

    I’m very pleased using aardvark.com and fluther.com . They both work quite well.

  • http://twitter.com/digitalvisitor Digital Visitor

    Interesting article.

    Quora has benefited from some rather supportive press (a lot from TechCrunch it seems)

    It is a good place for networking, but as you say, blatant, irrelevant self promotion isn’t helpful, either to your brand or the community as a whole. (I believe) there’s nothing wrong with putting forward a link to your business IF it helps answer the question, but crowbarring a mention in straight away doesn’t help.

    Think of Quora as a more playful and diverse version of LinkedIn Answers, yet still more professional than the Yahoo service.

  • http://mattiasgronborg.com/ Mattias Gronborg

    Interesting article!
    You really bring up my speed here.
    Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/OmarConte Omar Conte

    Even before ending a discussion on a “new” tool, there’s the “newer” one coming: inboxQ.com
    Isn’t it really much like Quora? Is this a strategy to disperse users?

  • http://www.salesandinternetmarketing.com Lindsay

    Thanks for not sitting on the fence – it’s so refreshing to hear someones opinion.

  • http://twitter.com/Alejandroperez Alejandro Pérez

    Really the next Social Media portal es http://www.todoexpertos.com the original concept that Quora clone ;)

  • JamesCiccone

    Brilliant! Thanks for sharing. What a thread ;-)

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    Hmmm, that’s not a bad placement for Quora, I like it! Thanks for reading :-)

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    thats no good, could it be that the community advocates on the site may be hurting Quora itself? I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t had a good experience, good thing you can always ask a question to Google.

  • http://blog.fandura.com Elijah R. Young

    well remember Facebook needed a college email address at one time too, so I don’t think that’s a huge barrier to overcome. They’ll surely open up registration in a little bit.

  • Pingback: Are you keeping up with the newest social media sites? (blog with video) | ECOVA Social Media

  • http://www.thewebcitizen.com Ilias Chelidonis

    This is true indeed but then how to differentiate against yahoo answers?

  • http://twitter.com/maxinemaxxy Maxine

    I’m quite enjoying Quora at the moment. My little article for my 2 pence is here http://www.maxxy.co.uk/blog/2011/02/28/how-quora-compares-to-other-places-to-hang-out/ I only wrote this as people were asking me what I thought of another place for views to be share in the style of expert. Personally I think it is very different to linkedin and forums, mostly because of the option to follow topics as well as or instead of people and to see peoples answers commented on, thanked and responded to by others. I just think people are far too polite sometimes on Linkedin :)

  • http://www.moviehippo.net Sam

    How about Facebook Questions?

  • http://www.aaroneden.com/ Aaron Eden

    I think I’ll share the sentiment you have when it comes to Quora. Like yesterday, I saw a very odd question on why people hate successful people and how to change that – seriously? Joke of the day haha. But hey, it’s the mecca of self-promotion right now that’s not limited to 140 characters so I’d say I’m hanging out for a while, especially when I have to kill time or something…

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MR76RIG722J52PRTMJ4G5OCCRA Nhật Toàn

    Anybody has quora account? May you invite me to join this great site? plz
    nhattoan.nguyen@gmail.com

  • http://www.rosemcgrory.co.uk/ RM Social Media Management

    Seriously, LinkedIN with MORE self promotion? Who needs it! Other than maybe for providing a list of those we want first up against the wall when the revolution comes….

  • http://twitter.com/julian_jippidy Julian R.M.

    Thanks for the article, Elijah! I’ve been hesitant to explore this new social media phenomenon because on the surface it sounded kinda redundant (LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Yahoo, Ask, eHow, etc.). But all the damn social media know-it-alls in my Tweetdeck list keep talking about it (promoting it?), so when I saw the title to your blog post, I figured I should do a bit more exploration. Based on my own initial thoughts, as reinforced and (much more eloquently) articulated by your very detailed pros & cons above, I’m relieved to know there’s not ANOTHER social network I should try learning! Which reminds me – weren’t all the social media types hyping Facebook Questions as a game-changer when it was introduced? Whatever happened to that?! Thanks for saving me time!

  • http://twitter.com/Lenochkin Lena Abayev

    Thanks for the article. How do I “get an invititation” to sign up for Quora?

  • http://www.twitter.com/schronico @schronico

    Elijah, great article! After much hesitation, I decided to sign up for an account. After just minutes of perusing the different content areas, I’m hard pressed to find value in the network. But, who knows, after some more observation and a little bit of engagement, I may find a “golden nugget.” Time will tell.

  • http://remarkablogger.com Michael Martine

    Meh, I’ve already forgotten about Quora.

  • http://ideagirlmedia.com/ Keri at Idea Girl Media

    For awhile, Quora seemed so high on the super-user list, I went to check it out. I created my profile, decided on topics to follow, and an audience and list of folks I follow came quite quick. I find Quora to be slow – it keeps me waiting as it navigates.

    That said, it seems to be getting good “SEO traction.” Maybe because it is geared toward authenticity of each participant. You want basketball, you might get Shaq answering your question. You have a question about groovy social media, Dave Kerpen from Likeable Media is likely to put in his two cents.

    For someone just jumping in to the social media scene, Quora offers a way to network and become familiar with folks in a different way than they would on Twitter, perhaps. I’ve connected with a few folks via the dual migration.

    One of my answers on the “front page” for my industry – which I like. That sparked a few posts on my blog.

    To see what others had to say, I asked a question on LinkedIn: “When have you opted to use Quora over LinkedIn?” Of course, many there still preferred the LinkedIn format and professional answers they could count on…

    …One answer that intrigued me: The suggestion that Linkedin purchase Quora.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZAD2KOE55WOM27K2YTIOAATGT4 Parker

    hey will anyone pls send me an invite to QUORA? parkerp17@ymail.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.stanganelli Joe Stanganelli

    To be fair, “A duck” was a joke answer to the question. It’s a reference to a scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The villagers are trying to think of what floats in water, like wood, and the only thing they can come up with is a duck.

    A detailed discussion can be found here: http://www.cs.swan.ac.uk/~csneal/SystemSpec/Different.html

  • http://twitter.com/i_luv_celebrity mishedew

    Although it is a good social media, not anyone could join the site because one could only join it through an invitation, which could be a great barrier…

  • Pingback: Quora: Why You Want to Use This Question and Answer Site







Check out the Social Media Marketing Podcast!
Join our Social Media Marketing Networking Club
Download the free Social Media Marketing Industry Report

Get Your FREE Copy of the 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report

Wondering how your peers are using social media? Get this free report (50 pages, 80+ charts) and never miss another great article from Social Media Examiner.