Over the past month I have discovered Quora.
What I really mean is – I’ve heard about it before but never really thought about how I could use it / what it could do for me?
Since leaving teaching, one thing is clear – the academic development that I once had does not exist in my corporate world. There is nothing like consistently re-assessing my own knowledge by the constant challenges faced by the evolving door of curriculum and assessment. I miss delivering content daily. I just don’t miss dealing with everyone else’s problems.
So after listening to the Question Of The Day podcast – I got addicted to Quora. Honestly, it wasn’t hard to do because it is almost fulfilling the educational void that I have been missing since leaving academia.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Quora, it is a place to ask questions and provide answers. Sounds fun right? I thought so.
Once you set up you profile and provide details such as educational achievements and degrees, as well as experiences, you can begin to ask or answer questions.
At first I found it a little difficult to get the hang of things, as my answers were constantly being hidden due to lack of credibility as an author. It meant that I needed to fill my profile up with more information so that I could be an expert in the fields that I was providing answers for. Ironically you could just make it all up and become a self-proclaimed expert without a hint of experience. But I believe that these people are only ultimately cheating themselves.
Once I have chosen my interests, Social Media Marketing and Education, I set off to answer as many questions as I could before my eyes shut on me. The very first night I was on Quora, I was awake till 1am typing answers to a variety of questions.
As I am now an active member of the community and have finally reached 10,000 views on my content, and as a result I am finding that more and more people are asking me to answer their questions.
However what is annoying about listing Facebook as an area of expertise is that a lot of people are asking questions about stalking blocked profiles, or how to contact people that they have a crush on. These questions I hate and pass right away. I am on Quora to help people with Facebook marketing, not stalking.
From my experience on Quora so far, there are four types of users;
- The questioner – this is the person that is on Quora frequently to seek advice on a variety of topics.
- The answerer (me) – the person who enjoys responding to questions in their area of interest or expertise.
- The reader – the person who reads both questions and answers but is unlikely to ask a question or provide an answer.
- And finally the confused – the person who totally misses the point of Quora, asks stupid questions and provides stupid answers. (Although mostly moderated by Quora, some still get through the cracks).
Thus leading me to my next point, what is the point of Quora? I believe the contention of Quora is to provide users with a network of shared knowledge. That the network is in fact responsible for the development of an educational community of acquired knowledge. I think it is the next step from Wikipedia in the sense that it is not moderated and controlled as vigorously and it works on a question and answer system as opposed to topic-based encyclopedia.
I think you miss the point when you are on Quora, if you ask questions that lack depth and are loaded with a personal vendetta.
I think you miss the point when you are on Quora, because you are too lazy to do a Google search to bring up the appropriate websites.
And finally, I think you miss the point when your questions tinkers on the privacy laws and are indicating that you are crossing illegal boundaries.
On Quora, I am the one answering questions. I’ve asked a couple of questions but to be honest, it is probably easier for me to seek those answers through Google. I am not one to completely trust shared knowledge yet, but I am excited to see how this builds over the coming years.
I look forward to developing a further analysis on the type of people who partake in the network Quora. But in the meantime, I suggest you give Quora a go.
Find me – Em Mango
“Seek and you shall Quora.”