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  • 16th March 2011 - By Deeptaman Mukherjee

    Answering questions is the newest hobby of the netizens. That alone is the reason behind the huge success of websites like Wikipedia, Yahoo and LinkedIn. Another Question-Answer based social media website is - Quora.

    Quora appears to be the information source for children, who like to ask the same questions over and over again. It is like a huge toy cave in which children are let lose and they run havoc, arrange, and play around. Quora defines itself as a “continuing collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone that uses it“. On the outset, it sounds friendly, but once you enter, it is quite a mess. Entry is by invitation only, giving an impression of exclusivity. But again, all sites can’t just replicate the buzz around GMail when it was launched.

    Quora was co-founded in 2009 by Adam D’Angelo (from Facebook) and Charlie Cheever; and soon they began attracting big names like Dustin Moskowitz (Facebook co-founder), Tristan Walker (Foursquare Director of Business Development), Tim Westergren (Pandora Radio founder) and Dallas Mavericks (owner Mark Cuban).

    At Quora, one can ask questions, answer them, comment on answers, assign topics to questions, write informative/ opinionated posts, follow questions and follow a democratic system of voting for or against questions and answers of your choice. Quora community has a lot of experts that answer questions besides its community members. Another advantage of Quora is the opportunity of bonding with the experts by voting for their information and befriending them via their profiles. You can personalize your dashboard on Quora by adding a picture and providing other information. It is an excellent place to do business. You can connect with the Best Answerers and fulfill your business ambitions. Or you can become an expert and cultivate a line of followers.

    But, all is not rosy and cushiony in the Quora world.  It faces a lot of challenges as well. As important as it is to ask questions, it is also important to distinguish the good from the bad, the smart from the stupid. And trust me, “Day light savings time – why are they saving it and where do they keep it ?is a stupid question.

    Nothing says “Look at me; Look at me” like Quora. Like any other business that needs promoting, which needs followers, which needs advertising, Quora believes that self-promotion is the best promotion. Here the users praise themselves in a bid to promote. Quora is like the many question-answer websites around- LinkedIn, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Twitter. The only new thing is the way it combines some features from all of these websites. Wikipedia is more factual and professional than Quora. LinkedIn answers questions professionally, and the data can be verified from external sources, whereas on Quora, no such verification is guaranteed.

    Quora is the earlier, unrefined version of Wikipedia, where the information could easily be a mis-information and you could not blame it on anyone. Opening the forum for question and answers to everyone is a mistake. If this website will survive the technological natural selection, only time will tell; and in the case of Quora, that time must come quickly.

    Coming back to ‘The Answer’ of the title question - Definitely NOT !!

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