I often find myself typing complex questions into Google’s search box. Many times, this leads me to complex answers or a variety of pages with a little bit of the answer on each one. In my opinion, both are unhelpful. The best pages are usually the pages where the question is stated explicitly, and real people create a response based on that question (as opposed to an article out there that was written on something similar). The only problem: who knows who is answering the question? For all I know, it could be a ten year old kid who thinks it’s funny to make up answers to things online. If you find this as frustrating as I do, you’re now in luck because I have discovered the answer to our frustration—Quora.
Quora is a place where you can ask absolutely anything you wish, and highly reliable people will provide the answer. This site was created by Adam D’Angelo, the former CTO of Facebook. Many compare Quora to Wikipedia (another website I love to visit, but content I never entirely believe); however the main difference between the two is the content quality and social networking opportunities. Quora is a website you must sign up for, much like Twitter or Facebook, and you have the ability to follow people, topics, and/or questions that interest you. There is also a voting system in place that allows the highest quality answers to a question to be pushed to the top. In other words, Quora is another great opportunity to start developing that brand. Consider some of the features of this website, and I guarantee you will be blown away!
Where Do the Answers Come From?
When trying to find an answer to a question, especially one that involves your small business, it is extremely important to know that the answer you are getting is valid and credible. Quora makes this happen in a few different ways:
- Anyone can answer a question on Quora; however users have the ability to vote answers up or down so that the answers can be ranked from the most useful (or most correct) to the least useful.
- All answers are connected to a person so you know exactly who is answering your question. Although answers are rated based on accuracy by users, you may want to know for yourself where the answers are coming from and make your own judgments about credibility.
- Now for the interesting part: Anyone can make revisions to the text of questions and the details that surround that question. In general, this helps the site become more accurate. However, all revisions are tracked and available for a user to see. Not only will you be able to track the person who wrote the original question, but you will be able to see each and every person who had ever made a revision to it.
- There are obviously many topics and questions that are related, so you will find not only answers to your question, but other, related questions that you may not have even considered.
The answers to questions will be available in Quora forever, so Quora may someday become the database with the answers to any question a person may have. All you have to do to find the answer to your question is use the search box at the top of the site and type in your question.
You may think that this sounds too much like Wikipedia, but the answers to questions on Quora have been answered by some of the brightest minds in the industry—and Quora lets you know! Some of the people providing answers on the website include Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, Marc Andreessen, VC in Silicon Valley, and Fred Wilson, VC in New York. After all, the creater of Quora was good friends with Zuckerberg in high school.
How to Use Quora to Help Build Your Brand
Quora is yet another great way to accumulate followers and start building your brand. You will be able to add links to sites in your profile, so if you set your profile to public all of your answers will be indexed on search engines. This site also works as a social networking platform, so your small business should treat it the same way you treat Twitter and StumbleUpon—get as many followers as possible and continue to post great content. If people are interested in what you have to say, and you can offer quality answers that get you to the top of the “answer” list, your company’s reputation will only improve.
Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to employee background checks. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including voip phones to small businesses and entrepreneurs at Business.com.
Read other articles by A. DiSilvestro