For the past month, I’ve seen article after article about how the new Q&A site Quora might be the next social media darling. The site began in “invite only” mode, which certainly helped elevate the buzz. Then Ashton Kutcher started answering questions there, so that was an indication of . . . something.
Now open to the public, the site does appear to have some heavy hitters in the community, particularly those in the journalism and tech areas. I saw the founder of Lifehack, the CEO of Mashable, a former AOL Chief Marketing Officer and the CEO of Netflix. Quite the cocktail party.
The questions on Quora are more intelligent than the ones you find on those other Q&A sites. For example: How did Mint acquire 1.5m+ users without a high viral coefficient, scalable SEO strategy, or paid customer acquisition channel?
Seriously, I was wondering the same thing, so thank heavens for Quora or that would have kept me up all night.
As with all Q&A sites, you can use Quora to promote your business. Simply find a question that’s in your field and answer it. Unlike Answers.com, Quora puts your name and affiliation front and center which makes you more visible and it helps users judge the validity of the information. The site is much cleaner than Answers.com, a bit too clean, and it leans more toward social connections, downplaying the rise and fall of popular updates such as you see on Digg.
The downside is that Quora isn’t intuitive. The site doesn’t open to the most recent questions. Instead, it delivers the recent updates from your categories which I don’t remember picking. It must have figured my interests based on my Facebook profile and it’s not wrong, but I prefer to browse a wider range of questions and that’s impossible. The site also appears to be self-monitored wiki style because you can make changes to the way things are organized. Not sure about that, either.
Quora feels very techy, which is probably why tech blogs seem to love it. But despite the fact that it’s gaining in popularity it still seems like a site that is destined to become a large spam repository. As for it being the next great marketing tool, I don’t see it. Do you?