My dearest Quora,
I know we just met yesterday, but I think I have a crush on you. All my friends are talking about you on Twitter and, well, I’m smitten. The personalized answers to questions and social friend based queuing functionality is very engaging. I was skeptical at first; when I get to a sign-up screen and there is no flashy screenshot slideshow, bullet points of nice things people said about you, or other typical marketing hoopla. I was initially concerned about giving you my information. I worry because you can connect to my social sphere, via twitter or facebook, and I’ve been burned by auto-updating applications before. Regardless I pressed on, I figured that since all my friends were excited about you, I should give you a chance.
After logging in for the first time I was comforted with posted questions, answers, and topics created by the familiar faces of Marketing Professionals and various other Twitter friends. Quora’s interface is simple and has a clean Facebook feel. The primary navigation is made up of Browse, Answer, and Notification tabs so you can easily get the gist of the functionality. I also like the fact Quora has a unique feel while recycling popular social paradigms like “un/follow”, “up/down voting”, and “sharing” functionality. By following a question, I can keep up with the answers I find important and interact with others that have similar interests and likely different answers.
My Tech-crush on you is in part due to Quora’s Twitter-esque feel and Wikipedia crowd sourcing style. I take solace in the fact that I’m not alone, while you’ve only been around a couple of years you’ve been in very high demand in the social sphere as of late. Just take a look at the Reach and Attention upswing you’ve gotten on Compete.com this week. Given this trend you’re on your way to becoming the break out application of 2011.
Your not-so-secret admirer
P.S. In all seriousness Quora is tech-crush worthy because it gives individuals and brands a place to share answers and experiences with one another. Smart brands will allow its employees to engage on the site with a community of people with questions around topics they have solutions for.
Here’s an example of a win-win-win: if Olivia’s Organics had their service or marketing department answering questions on Quora about topics like Organic Produce or Organic Farming it would give them a ton of product visibility with highly engaged users. That’s a win for users and a win for the brand. The third win for the company’s employees, they have the opportunity to develop expertise and gain recognition in a public and social space. Can you think of any other opportunities for brands using this application?
Lindsey Mark works in Client Relations at Compete and is responsible for the strategic development of client retention and support policies for compete.com, with a focus on education and training efforts. She graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY so she's a certified technology junkie and open source advocate. When she's not thinking about marketing or training digital 007's at compete, she's doing yoga & blogging about gluten-free diet and lifestyle. Find Lindsey on Twitter as @linji, Google Plus as Lindsey Mark or connect with her via LinkedIn.