Feb 14, 2011

Quora makes the cut for communicators

Quora, a site that blends a question and answer format with a social layer, has generated a lot of buzz lately and traffic to this new entry in the social networking land has been increasingly rapidly. And with almost half of the traffic coming from search engines, it’s safe to say that Quora is drawing a diverse audience.


Source: Experian Hitwise US via ReadWriteWeb


In terms of the layout and function of the site, Quora is attractive and easy to use.  You can follow topics, specific questions, and interesting people, which results in a nice blend of content that the site serves up specifically for you.

Quora also has a certain “cool kids” cachet, as the site has drawn an influential and active crowd of users, and even has a category isolating answers posted personally by company CEOs.

Quora has officially made the cut for me, and is now part of my daily workflow.   Here’s why:

  • Feedback.  Other readers can vote answers up or down, can send thanks or flag an answer as not helpful.  This sort of feedback tells you unequivocally whether or not your tone and content hit (or miss) the mark – information you can use to improve your other communications in the social layer.
  • SEO.  Quora is search engine friendly, and I’ve seen answers on page one of Google search results.  Others are noticing Quora’s search visibility too.   This is interesting for communicators because the phrasing of questions often mirrors longer tail search queries, meaning that folks looking for something specific are quite likely to turn up answers on Quora when they search.  This is another opportunity to boost your brand’s (or your own) visibility.
  • The conversations tend to be pretty sophisticated.  The above-mentioned feedback mechanisms and the simple fact that Quora users appear to be pretty happy to ignore inane questions create a “self-cleaning” community that rewards smart questions and savvy answers.
  • The community. I know I mentioned it before, but it’s worth mentioning again.   Quora has attracted a bevy of influential techies, journalists, bloggers and a influentials from broad areas of interest.  It’s a worthwhile bunch.
  • I like Quora for the same reasons I like LinkedIn and Twitter – I can build my network and link with smart thinkers in my areas of interest, I can cultivate relationships with people who have questions related to PR (and are potential or current PR Newswire clients), and I can learn interesting new stuff.

As with any social network,  being useful and contributing meaningfully should be goal number one, and if you keep that in mind, your experience on Quora will be positive and productive.

Quora is still growing and evolving.  How do you see Quora fitting into your personal workflow or communications plans?

Authored by Sarah Skerik, VP social media, PR Newswire.

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