In the last few weeks, internet marketers (at least in my circle) have been going crazy (or quazy) over Quora. Quora is a website that people ask questions which are answered by other members of the Quora Community – similar to Yahoo Answers or any forum that’s ever existed. What separates Quora from others is the quality of the responses, regualrly people high up in the great & the good of the Internet have posted responses, but aside from getting a response from the head of Company X saying that Company X’s Product Y is good, what’s it like?
I had a bit of a play with it, posting a few questions, and here is what I like & what I dislike about it.
What I Like About Quora
Surprisingly, in a short period of time it’s built up quite a following with a remarkable community. I asked a similar question in relation to a WordPress problem I had on a number of forums, and got the right answer first on Quora. This was helpful & a little surprising.
Furthermore, the interface is quite clean & helpful, which helps as I lead onto the bad points about it.
What I Dislike About Quora
I think it’s a little overwhelming at times. I don’t find anything useful in the profiles & it seems to be more about sharing content from Quora to other services. In fact when you start, you have to turn email notifications all off (weirdly, I couldn’t find an email notification setting from when people answer your own questions). I’d like to syndicate my blog with my Quora profile, not post my Quora questions onto my blog.
Also, and this is not Quora’s fault, occasionally answers you get are a bit self promotional.
With that said, it’s not really worth self promotion. I posted a link in a question to WP Email Capture, and this has been the traffic from Quora to my site last week.
Furthermore any links placed on the site are nofollow. It doesn’t even matter as (yet) I don’t think Google would consider it to be an authoritative domain.
Quora is alright. I can see what they’re trying to do, build up a real community where people will help each other, but I’m not sure how long it’ll last.
The issue is that unless you are a big name, it’s very difficult for people to find out about the people answering the questions. The buttons to promote your twitter & facebook accounts are miniscule, and nowhere to import an RSS feed is bad as well. The site, for a social networking site, doesn’t seem that – well – social.
This is leading to problems as people are self promoting their wares, rather than give good answers, so they see a return on it.
With that said, it does achieve it’s goal of getting questions answered – I did get an answer to my questions – but my questions had more definitive answers, rather than opinion answers. I’d use it for questions that begin with “How do I?” rather than “In your opinion?”.
Furthermore I haven’t built up any sort of connections on the site yet, all of the people I am following are from my Twitter & Facebook. I’d be more likely to do that on a forum dedicated to what I’m after, rather than a generic question site. At least then I can build up connections.
So yes, in conclusion, I doubt I’d continue to use Quora in the long term.