How Quora Works

by Phil Buckley on January 11, 2011

in Social Media


If you haven’t been exposed to the buzz about Quora yet, you will. It’s being talked about all over the place and by lots of influential people. Quora is like Yahoo Answers on steroids.

Quora reminds me of another favorite site of mine, Google’s Webmaster Central forum. At the Webmaster forum you can ask questions about ranking, crawling, indexing, verification and pretty much all things related to search optimization. As you answer questions, you are rewarded with a higher rank until if your lucky, Google reaches down and knights you as a “Top Contributor”.

Quora is very similar with the added benefit of being able to ask questions about anything you can think of!

Once you sign up, you can simply consume the smart answers or jump in and start helping out. I’ve seen a lot of really smart people answering questions already. Matt Cutts is answering questions about Google. Steve Case is answering questions about why AOL gave away all those CD’s in the 1990′s. You can choose to follow categories, people, specific questions or nothing at all.

The interface is fairly simple. When you log in you are presented with questions from the categories you are following. Here’s what was in my list this morning.

Quora question stream

Quora question stream

If one of the questions look interesting, you click on the headline and it takes you to the specific question page where there is a lot going on.

Almost every aspect of the question can be modified by anyone. Tags can be added or subtracted and eve the question itself can be modified.

Quora question

Quora question

I can’t remember who mentioned it on Twitter this morning, but they said that an answer they left on Quora was used in a news story. Having a good reputation on Quora could be the next way to become a mainstream media pundit.

Here’s a great article on why Quora will stick around even after the hype dies down.

Here’s a second article that has a list of 10 things to get you going on Quora.

Are you using Quora yet? What do you think of it?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ian Greenleigh January 11, 2011 at 11:37 am


Glad you found my piece on Quora’s potential longevity helpful. I know we’ll both be watching those guys closely. Cheers.


Phil Buckley January 11, 2011 at 12:03 pm

@Ian my deepest fear is that the marketers and spammers will over run the place and it will end up a ghost town by next year. I hope that they are busy working on some type of kryptonite to keep that from happening, because I think the idea is fantastic.


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