Justin Wilden

Dear Quora, I have a question?

You must go and use Quora.com if you haven't already. This is currently the hot topic, and is great for digital marketers and the industry in general. It will not be long however, until it becomes a Twitter - and is all noise. This form of curated Q+A community is the closest proposition to a semantic 'human-powered' search site I have seen to date.

Quora Logo

Getting onto Quora allows you to develop a social community (of followers) directly around your expertises, and this makes the site more compelling than your LinkedIn network of past colleagues. 

In the past month I have responded to questions such as:

And even this one:

It's partly the gaming mechanics of having your answer voted up and also for being thanked for your contribution almost instaneously, which makes the process of wrtiting and publishing more rewarding than posting another blog article (except for the ones you put on Digital Ministry of course :).

The site is an incredibly useful research tool across many topics and spectrums, plus you get great answers to your questions. In fact, reading genuine answers about topics that probably could be considered 'secretive' is a demonstration that everyone is willing to share, but we haven't had the right interface and online environment to facilitate this form of detailed Q+A before Quora.

So why is this one successful? Because it hasn't been launched by Yahoo or Facebook that already have a mass audience that want to know questions like; "How do I knit a bunny?" and "Where do I buy those red polar cups that everyone is holding in this photo? They look so merry". Even LinkedIn has missed out on this opportunity, not sure if its to do with that past colleague thing. 

Quora works because the digital community are proactively using it more than any other community. This is a demonstration of digital strategy at its best. My concern is that it will not be long until the "How do you knit a bunny? ' questions start appearing.

Jump on now before you miss the chance to see a well-conceived digital idea working in its prime!

-


COMMENTS

Posted by Mark, 28 January 2011

Sounds like you have a vested interest in the site Justin. Whats your connection if any?

Posted by Carolyn King, 1 February 2011

There is some useful stuff on Quora, and many of the Qs are answered by experts in their field. But there are also some stupid questions (eg "Is life meaningless?"), plus some Qs that are seeking to promote (eg who is the best business for service X in area Y) . Even though I'm generally an optimist, I fear your prediction for Quora might be right - it may well be in its prime right now.

Posted by Leslie Barry, 1 February 2011

Quora is solving the problem that Google’s been trying to solve forever – creating the database of intentions.
Quora takes a huge leap towards solving this by helping me with “what question do I ask to get the best answer” because someone has probably already taken the time to craft an intelligent and well-formed question to extract the best quality answers, and other clever people have decided what the best answer is.
More here http://bit.ly/g9dIye

and here... Have a look at BBH-Labs rant on Quora a while back. I posted a rebuttal. My take on what they're not getting: http://j.mp/g0ksfi

and here... Quora: Holy Grail of intent or hype? http://bit.ly/gYRYo6

Posted by steve macalpine, 2 February 2011

Yesterday's eMarketer story sums up the situation http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1008216

Bottom Line. For Quora to succeed in this new realm of Q&A, it will need to weed out fake names, spam and joke Q&As to maintain the quality of interaction. If it can do that, Quora will grow in influence, as well as audience. Marketers who can play by the rules creatively now will reap benefits later.

I've been following some Quora questions for sometime and posting on my blog http://www.stevemacalpine.com/. - Quora -What makes a good social media strategist?

It's been fascinating to listen to the conversation with the likes of Jeremiah Owyang, the Edelman Digital crew and other digerati. So I for one hope it succeeds.

Maybe there's an opportunity for yet another Q & A site that specialises in the mundane... a place where you can get your "How do you knit a bunny? ' question answered ?


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Justin Wilden IE Justin Wilden
Company: IE
Position: Solutions Director
Justin is a business innovator and user-experience specialist. He creates online products, and is passionate about helping startups with product innovation, design and strategy.

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