Exploring New Social Media: Quora

Today I am exploring a new social media outlet. This network has been mentioned a few times in the last few weeks. If it isn’t for me, it is for someone, because it seems to be gaining traction in my network circles.

What is Quora?

Quora is a social media site in which users ask questions and self-claimed experts in that area of knowledge are alerted and have an option to answer the question. Users then “upvote” answers to determine the best answer to the question. For instance, there is a thread titled, “What is Quora?” The most upvoted answer to this question is written by Quora Founder, Adam D’Angelo who states,

“Quora aims to be the easiest place to write new content and share from the web. We organize people and their interests so you can find, collect and share the information most valuable to you.”

My take is that it is a place where intelligent people ask and answer questions to share knowledge and evaluate a subject. It seems a bit more credible than Reddit and less visual than many other social media sites.

First Reaction

Upon registering for Quora, I was overwhelmed with trying to sort it out. First, when you register it asks for information about areas of expertise. I stumbled a bit because I don’t consider myself an expert in anything (yet), but decided to add something to see what it does with the information. Second, unlike many other social media sites I use, Quora is mostly text based. My first view of my “feed” was a string of text blocks and questions… initially unattractive.

After Using for a Few Days

I have decided Quora is very useful. Every time someone answers a question well with reliable information, others who like the answer or can confirm it is reliable “upvote” the answer. This seems similar to Diig or Reddit, except the unspoken rating criteria is based on knowledge and expertise as opposed to humor and entertainment. I couldn’t find anything on the website to support this feeling, so my perception may be only a perception.Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 5.28.59 PM

Example of Use

I needed plants for my office cubicle. As a new Quora user, I decided it may be a good place to search for others’ advice on the matter. I searched Quora for “best indoor plants” and it came back with many questions and answer threads. The conclusion I made based on the Quora results is that monter-in-law’s tongue would purify my office space and add a bit of plant happiness to my daily routine. Also, these plants are hard to kill. Win!

Future Use

I plan to use Quora weekly. I wouldn’t say I can handle it daily. I have seen some intriguing answers to very specific questions, such as this one (Links to an external site.) that asks about Ashton Kutcher’s preparation process to play Steve Jobs. Based on Quora’s reputation, I am going to believe it was actually him connecting with the question poster.

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