Quora is a collection of questions and answers that is created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it. I saw it explained nicely as:
“an online platform that connects the information needs of real people with information solutions provided by real people.”
The defining feature of Quora is that it strives for consensus. Answers can be voted up or down which helps display the useful answers and push down the not so useful.
The first time I checked out Quora I thought it was very similar to Wikipedia but after doing a little research online I realized it’s not:
- Strives for a general consensus rather than a neutral point-of-view. Will be seen as a database of all content that people want to know where as Wikipedia is strictly an encyclopedia.
- Encourages contributions from a wider range of users. Questions can be answered by numerous contributors.
- Quora reduces the barriers for a user to contribute content.
- People’s names are attached to answers.
Depending on how Quora takes off it could prove to be a very useful tool for lawyers looking to increase their reputation as experts in their respective practice areas.
Creating a profile on Quora is simple. It’s similar to Twitter as you can follow users and they can follow you as well. You can also follow and create topics.
Your personal page displays your avatar, biography, links to Twitter and Facebook if you choose to connect your accounts, as well as your questions, answers, posts and edits.
My favorite feature is the ability to post questions and answers on Facebook and Twitter. I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the content to date and have shared answers quite often.
Please let me know if you’d like an invite to join. I’ll be happy to send one over.
Quora even offers Programming Data Challenges such as Datacenter Cooling and the Python URI. They are way beyond my scope of intelligence. Let me know if you have better luck than me with them!