For those of you who have been playing around with G+ over the last couple of days, what started off as an interesting way to share the ephemera of our daily internet lives has turned into some of the best question and answer sessions I have seen outside of Quora. For those who do not know what Quora is, it is a question answer board made of up some of the best recognized names in multiple industries and for some can be quite useful for answering the right kind of questions. Quora is a cool system but very limited in the types of questions you can ask its members. My experience with Quora ended when I asked a question, but it was rejected by the system because it was not phrased right, and I didn’t feel like playing so I deleted the question. Surprisingly they noticed as there was an expletive laden e-mail returned in the survey, so Quora took the time to let me know what the problem was. As they stated in an email back to me:
This is in regard to this question I have been formally asked to pitch my company before the Angel Community here in Seattle. Again my company goes way beyond just simple online and offline comics – what advice would you give me before I pitch? That you recently deleted.
I saw from your comment that you were a little frustrated by the “Survey Questions” rule. At its most basic, survey questions are those that address the reader. Typically, they include a “you” and solicit personal opinion. These types of questions are not allowed on Quora, as you can see by the policy here – Quora Question Policies & Guidelines: Are poll and survey questions allowed on Quora?, because they tend not to be reusable by the entire community.
That being said, there are lots of ways to phrase this question so it will receive good answers. Let me know if you’re interested and I’d be happy to help you with that – I am a Quora Admin.
I will give them many points for being positive, upbeat, explaining that I could not ask a “survey question”, and wishing me a nice weekend in a very polished professional way. But if you can’t as the kinds of questions you want to ask, then what is the point in the system? Other than pulling this out of my e-mail queue I have not been back to Quora since and it is unlikely that I will go back there to do any kind of real interaction.
Why I think that Quora is more doomed than Facebook by G+ is that you can ask any kind of question you want, and get equally good responses back from the community that you would get on Quora. Quora was originally designed as a place where good questions would get good answers, and it is curated by the members of Quora as a knowledge base of good information that may or may not work in your situation.
G+ is a lot more flexible in relationship to the kinds of questions you can ask, it is also very easy to make a G+ circle with yourself in it, and save off those questions, answers, information that you find interesting and want to go back and check out, much like Quora. You can duplicate the look and feel of Quora in less than 2 minutes, including asking any question style you want including survey questions and then go about your business and enjoy your day. Using G+ Circles to organize data is probably not what the original designers of G+ thought you would be doing, after all it was meant for friends, but as an organizational tool it works without having to resort to any kind of clever hacking. If you can organize people you can also organize the types of data they push over the wires.
Quora is not doomed yet, and they are seeing an amazing bounce in traffic since G+ launched, but there is the ability to duplicate Quora in G+, let us hope that the folks who run Quora are doing what they need to do to differentiate themselves sooner rather than later.
- Quora Help Users Find Related Content With New Browse Page (socialtimes.com)
- Quora Attempts To Cut Through The Noise With ‘Browse’ (techcrunch.com)
- Quora Browse does a little clean up for the Q&A site (digitaltrends.com)
- Quora Launches Browse Feature To Help Users Find Related Content (searchengineland.com)
- Reporters Using Quora as Story Source. What Does PR Need To Know? (newcommbiz.com)
- Distribution of my Quora Answers (rafaelcorrales.com)
(Cross-posted @ Techwag)