A really brilliant resource on the internet for keeping up to date with what’s going on in your particular industry and for making new connections with others in your field is Quora. It’s like a grown-up version of Yahoo Answers with loads of added functionality. It’s a question and answer website like no other, where you can pose a question and expect to have it answered by global experts in that field.
Find and Follow
Once you’ve registered, you can look for people to follow (all of the top tech bloggers and writers are on there) and join in the conversations that are going on to find out the very latest news on the subjects that interest you.
As well as following people, you can follow Topics or individual Questions, ensuring that you will be notified every time an answer is given to a relevant query. You can add new Questions or even new Topics and follow the topics that are most relevant and interesting to you, either on a professional or a personal level.
It’s also a great resource for discovering new information on all sorts of subjects, with people regularly dropping links into their posts which can be a great way of finding stuff you would never have otherwise found.
A Community of Experts
The Quora community includes world experts in all types of subjects from Social Media, Technology Trends, Business and Entrepreneurship to more mundane topics such as Gardening, Cooking and Childcare. The answers provided are always well thought out and contain valuable insights that would be hard to find posed so succinctly elsewhere. If you’re starting a new company and need advice, just ask on Quora (in the Startups Topic) and you will be treated to a wealth of information from seasoned specialists who are leaders in their field.
If you follow a particular Topic in Quora, you can be sure that you will be bang up to date with what’s going on in that field, reading posts by some of the most respected though-leaders and experts, ensuring that you have a balanced view on the most recent developments. If you find a question that you’d like to follow, you’re able to view statistics for that question, including how many people are following it, who they are and you can share it via Twitter, Facebook or WordPress. That’s a pretty powerful way of getting attention for a question and putting the question out there to encourage people to answer it.
If you’re following the top tech bloggers on Quora, they are posting on a regular basis, often with links to articles or blog posts where you will find the most up to date information on the web. If you have a particular question that you’d like to ask of somebody, it’s possible to send a direct message to their Quora Inbox, unlike some other social media platforms where you can only connect directly in this way if the person is following you too.
Google+ on Quora
At present there is a lot of discussion on Quora about the launch of Google+ where you will find all types of tips and tricks on how to use this new resource to the best advantage. Although most of these discussions are also taking place on Google+, Quora seems to contain the crème de la crème of the discussion, without all the “noise” and frivolity that is appearing on Google+ at present. Quora is a great resource for damping down the “noise” and getting to the nitty gritty.
Get some Followers
A really good way to gain followers on Quora is to join in the conversation! Very often, somebody will ask a Question and this will turn into an ongoing conversation with many people joining in to express their thoughts and views. If you come across a Question that happens to be in a field that you are really familiar with, post your answer (make sure that it’s well written and either addresses the original question or is a response to one of the answers. If you are able to offer some sort of insight into the Question that has not already been provided, you will find that others respond to your answer and sometimes start to follow you and often contact you directly to your Quora Inbox. Another great way of making your mark on Quora is that you are able to provide a Description of a Topic (make sure that you know your subject inside out if you’re going to do this) which will earn you the extra kudos of being a thought-leader in that particular subject.
As a Social Media platform, Quora seems to be one of the more “serious” options. People on Quora are not giving you a blow-by-blow account of everything they do throughout the day, there are no flame wars going on, nothing irrelevant whatsoever – just a wealth of information from some of the world’s experts in all types of subjects.
I’m Jonny Ross from Jonny Ross Consultancy. I specialise in Social Media, Web Design, SEO and I offer SEO and ecommerce solutions services for everyone. Having worked in small business management for over 13 years, I have a proven track record in the retail field and I have created a very successful operation in the field of e-business which culminated in positive coverage by the press and the media.