Quora.com is a question and answer site was launched in June 2010. It’s a simple site with a clean interface that allows you to follow people or topics to find questions to answer or learn more about.
It’s an exciting site because it’s easy to find questions, answers, and experts relating to your industry. I follow 10 topics including start ups, marketing, and social media. I follow 29 people and am followed by 40. I’ve asked 8 questions and answered 34.
I’m not a power user following or being followed by hundreds of users, but this is great for now. Quora is more about the best content, rather than timely content (Twitter) or the people (Facebook). My various answers have received a total of 29 votes from founders, VPs, and product managers from technology start-ups and marketing agencies. I still communicate with some of the people that found me through my answers on Quora.
The co-founders Adam D’Angelo (Facebook’s former CTO) and Charlie Cheever succeeded in attracting quality users, including top executives from the biggest start-ups in Silicon Valley. My loyalty to Quora started when a question I asked about a Foursquare feature was promptly answered by Harry Heyman, a lead engineer at Foursquare. Consequently, this also increased my respect for Foursquare both as a service and a company.
The beauty of Quora is that by asking smart questions and answering questions for others, you become part of a community of experts in your industry. The answer you write and the votes they receive, combined with the quality experts you connect with, can accumulate into something significantly more powerful than your resume. It allows you to reach out to and network with persona who would otherwise be “out of your league,” because if they’ve voted on your answer, it signals that they respect your thought process and expertise.
Of course, the risk is that you’re banking on Quora to exist for at least a while. Recent exposure has increased the number of users, and some writers have speculated that this could hurt the quality of Quora (Business Week). While this is entirely possible, I believe that Quora will only appeal to those who provide value to the site, meaning while it won’t grow as large as Twitter, it will hopefully stay the quality question and answer community it is now.