A few years ago, I heard someone say that Quora was the place to go for answers. When I created an account back then, I looked at it and wasn’t especially impressed at the time. Since then, I went back to look at it this week and had a completely different outlook. As part of my master’s class on Social Media and Digital cultures, we were asked try something new. Since I never gave Quora the time of day, I decided to go back and check it out.
I started poking around at the main feed that was created by aggregating the interests that I set up in the initial set-up process. After looking through this feed and not coming up with anything, I started searching for things that apply to me personally/professionally (Google Apps, Chromebooks, educational technology, social media, etc.). It was then that I found the usefulness of Quora.
While I see and One of the downfalls that I have heard to Quora is that there is no way to know if the contributors who are answering the questions have the authority to answer the questions. To begin, there is some element to people being experts on this site. As I was searching for chromebooks, I found many answers about chromebooks answered by the Jeff Nelson who is attributed to creating the Chromebook. I was also able to start following the topics that interest me. When you start following topics, Quora aggregates these feeds into your main feed to bring everything together.
You also have the ability to follow individual people on Quora. By doing this, you are trusting yourself to choose the correct people to follow to benefit yourself (much like Twitter or any other social media). I was able to start following people who are leaders in their respective fields (innovation, edtech, etc.).
Ultimately, I see the value of Quora being in the user base. Because it isn’t an overblown social media site, there are many people who use it that will contribute. It is not full of many people to “water-down” all of the feeds (a la Ashton Kutcher or Kim Kardashian). Just like any other social media site, you have to decide how it will be beneficial to you based on who you follow, how much you participate, etc.
Does Quora have the best answer to any question? It could if you are willing to help out. It could if you ask the right people. It could if you look for it.