Quora is taking the interwebz by storm. Question & answer type sites have come and gone, but Quora seems to have reached the tipping point. It’s getting a lot of attention and a lot of users.
What is Quora?
Quora is a place where you can ask and answer questions. How Quora differs from previous Q&A sites is that it’s community-curated, like Wikipedia. You could describe Quora as a cross between Yahoo! Answers and Wikipedia. Because of the community policing aspect of Quora, people can’t just come on and ask any ol’ stupid question they want. Trolling is practically impossible. By the same token, self-promotional or unsubstantiated answers are also weeded out.
Here’s a screenshot of a question which I answered, and which was voted on by users as the best answer (click to enlarge):
Everything about the questions and much about the answers is either editable or at least votable by users (is votable a word? it is now! ). If I felt the tags on a question were inaccurate, I could delete the questionable tags and add in better tags.
Quora has rules for how questions can be phrased to prevent trolling and just general dumbassery. So far, it seems to be working.
Why should you care about Quora?
If you’re reading my blog and you’re a client/customer of mine then you’re probably a single-person business operating as a coach, consultant or freelancer (not all of you, but most of you). Authority and expertise are two very important currencies for you. One of the main reasons why you blog in the first place is to have a channel for developing your authority and expertise as a means to acquire customers (business blogging, in other words).
From what I’ve seen so far, Quora is an excellent avenue for building authority and expertise. Because answers are voted on by users, an element of social proof is introduced to further cement your authority and expertise.
Consider the benefits of the following:
- You can link to your Quora profile from your blog
- You can link to your Quora answers in posts you write
- Your Quora answers can inspire blog posts
- Any content on Quora might inspire blog posts, for that matter
- You can cross-link your Quora answers on Twitter and Facebook
- You can reach out to new people and be genuinely helpful, which is a powerful form of marketing that doesn’t seem like marketing at all
This paints a compelling picture in my opinion for giving Quora a try. If you do, I invite you to connect with me on Quora. If you’re not already a Quora user, access is by invitation only still at this point. If you’d like an invite, just email me with “Quora invite” in the subject line and I’ll hook you up. You can use my contact form here on the site or just email email@example.com.
Have you tried Quora yet? What’s your impression?