For the past few weeks, I’ve been following an increased interest about Quora on social networking sites. Tech evangelist, Robert Scoble, started a Quora frenzy with his post; Is Quora the biggest blogging innovation in 10 years?
Now I certainly did not agree fully about Quora being a blogging innovation, however, after using it for a while now I can say that it is addictive, interesting, informative and has the A-Listers answering questions from anyone and everyone.
So What is Quora?
I believe that this question is very well answered in the about page of Quora and also a question which was posted on Quora itself. However, here is an easier interpretation of what Quora is in my honest opinion.
In a nutshell, Quora is a simple site where you can ask a question and expect an answer from other community members. It is similar to Yahoo Answers and Facebook Answers in that sense. However, Quora goes much more further than this.
Quora basically documents knowledge through questions and answers and provides users with an easy way to find it. Think of it as a knowledgebase created by people for the people.
In addition to that Quora also provides users with a platform to collaborate and make things better. For example, if one person has asked a question, a second person can edit it to make it more descriptive or to frame it in a proper way. Similarly, when one person answers a question, another user can suggest edits to the answer. Using the collaborative feature in Quora, people can improve on the quality of the accumulated knowledge.
Quora is also a source for continuous knowledge by the way of it providing each and every user an opportunity to add their answers to any question. This way newer and maybe better answers can always be added.
As many people think, Quora is not overwhelming at all since it allows you to choose which topics you want to follow and only displays questions related to those topics. For example, if you would love to know more about Startups, you can follow the Startup topics and you will be displayed questions and answers
This is the most basic definition of what Quora does according to me.
Is Quora A Social Networking Platform?
Yes and No. Quora is not exactly a social networking site, but it does borrow quite a lot of features from sites like Twitter, Facebook and maybe several others.
For example, Quora has an option to allow users to follow other users, this feature is similar to Twitter. In addition to that it allows users to comment and up vote answers, this feature is seen in sites like Reddit and Digg. It also has an Inbox feature which can be tied down to LinkedIn or Facebook Messages.
Quora also allows users to subscribe to questions without asking or answering it, so that you will know whenever a new answer has been added.
Overall, there are several aspects of Quora which make it to look like a social networking site. However, those features are not the USP of Quora. Those features basically provide an enhanced community experience for Quora users.
What do you think of Quora? Have you used it? Do you like it? Do feel free to tell me your opinion about the service through your comments.