Home > social media, social networking > Quora.com: The Social Wikipedia

Quora.com: The Social Wikipedia

Personal Profile on Quora

I recently was linked to the site Quora.com and told that I should check it out and form a first impression. I went on the site and spent about ten minutes browsing and testing the functionality, and I was honestly impressed. The site is rough around the edges, and disorganized at times, but the core purpose is obvious. Quora is a question and answer site that allows each user to create a profile and then answer questions from other users, about anything and everything. Answers and topics can be endorsed by users, adding credibility to that particular user. The more users that join up and use Quora, the more answers provided as well as a higher chance of a credible, reliable answer will being given. To put it into perspective, I view Quora as a hybrid of Wikipedia and Yahoo! Answers, with a strong hint of the KGB text messaging question/answer service added in. Any question can be asked, as well as answered…once again, the more users means the more information available on an infinite number of topics.

I could go more in-depth on the potential Quora has, and how well it may play with the big guns like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. but I’ll instead post the answer to a question from the site itself. Keep in mind, this answer is only one from one person, but it is logical and does show the upside of a site like this. The question asked was “Should Twitter Be Worried About Quora?” The answer can be seen here: http://www.quora.com/Should-Twitter-be-worried-about-Quora as well as below. It was provided by James Hritz, the VP Strategy & Biz Dev for Fox Audience Network.

Absolutely! Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and anyone else in the social networking space should be worried. Very worried.

If you think Quora picked up an $80M+ valuation to just build a better Q&A site, then you are not seeing the big picture.

Yes, today Quora is a totally different tool than any of these aforementioned sites, but once Quora has perfected the technology around helping users easily find the right expert at the right time, reaching back and implementing technologies like real-time communication, status updates & photos will be trivial. A question of time & money rather than any hard thinking. Quora will stand on the shoulders of everyone who has already climbed the mountain.

A Quora-based social network will have profiles that are built organically and based on social proof and credibility. Think about it. Of course you followed the company you work for, eventually you will answer questions about your company and you will start to gain endorsements when you provide answers from your firsthand experience.

What type of profile will you come to trust more? A profile on Quora where a user has said he worked at company x and has 100+ endorsements for his answers to various questions on the topic, or a LinkedIn profile where the user essentially cut-and-pasted his inflated resume? Yes, maybe that user has a few written recommendations, but a LinkedIn profile grows stale over time and just like resumes, no one ever really reads them.

By comparison, profiles built organically over years on Quora will have a depth and dimension that will be much like comparing a Facebook profile to a MySpace profile. I think the term “living document” applies.

Quora is unearthing the intellectual capital market. A market that is based on users making exchanges of value based on what they know. This happens in real life everyday. The Quora system has created a way to make this scalable and the best part is the race to generate impact will not be based on “popularity,” but the true value of a person’s accumulated experience and knowledge. In a very real sense, Quora has subtly implemented a social game mechanic not unlike what you see in Farmville or other social games.

While I love Twitter and I am an active user, Twitter and Facebook (to a smaller extent) is a pure popularity contest. Just keep tweeting and friending and you will have lots of contacts whether you are legitimate or not. Hence the spam problem. The only reason Kim Kardashian has millions of followers is because she has access to money and tools of mass media. I can guarantee Kardashian will not be able to get the same traction in a Quora based social world as a Twitter or Facebook world.

On the business model front, Quora will monetize either by being an SEM resource or selling data about questions people publicly ask. For example, every person who asks a question about which car is better than some other car is a potential automotive lead. This is incredibly valuable and the best part is Quora never has to show a single ad to users on the site, nor do they have to hire a massive sales force or beg ad agencies to work with them.

I’ve had a chance to watch the Quora debate for a couple weeks now and I am stunned to witness how myopic some of the smartest people I know and respect have looked at this product and can only see a Q&A site. Its almost as if the combination of the mediocre economy and the undeniable success of Facebook and Twitter has killed their imagination.”

If such a response doesn’t at least intrigue you, then maybe Social Media is not your forte. I can entirely support such a response but I do think that there is an unpredictability to the internet that is also uncontrollable. Success on the internet is more often a lucky streak turned bandwagon scenario that can be adapted and changed to suit the users. Look at any of the most popular YouTube video fads (Numa Numa, the evolution of dance, star wars kid, etc.), or the drastic shift from MySpace to Facebook that occurred in only a couple of years. The internet is a relatively make-or-break environment and if you have something good, it only betters your chance of making it. I believe that Quora does have what it needs to succeed and has a new outlook on social media that hasn’t been tapped into. The idea of an organically growing profile that provides both credibility and popularity is a great idea that, if implemented well, can be the next huge internet success.

  1. February 22, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    This is a outstanding report as usual buddie

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