I have a guilty confession to make: I’ve spent many hours in the past endlessly tumbling about from one utterly enthralling Wikipedia article to the next when I should have been working instead. What can I say? I’m a naturally inquisitive person, as equally drawn-in by articles about the life of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton, to finding out who’s the only major league baseball player in history to hit 2 grand slams in one inning . . . Answer: N.Y. Met Fernando Tatis on April 23,1999 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Reading stand alone encyclopedia-ish articles is far and away Wiki’s forte, but getting specific questions answered there, like the baseball one above, isn’t as easy to come by as you might think. So if it’s a narrowly-defined question you need answered, I strongly suggest you check out a site called Quora.
Still in its infancy (so they may not be able to handle the grand slam question just yet), Quora is a community based question-and-answer website launched in 2010 by a pair of former Facebook employees who decided to break out on their own and create a one-stop shop for queries of every kind.
Slightly more hip than Yahoo answers, Quora attracts niche experts from all categories to handle the back-and-forth while pushing a more involved social media aspect in which users can pose questions of their own to a massive audience. Sounds like a fun way to spend an afternoon right? . . . or maybe an entire weekend. Well, there’s also several things that Quora can do for you to help generate some useful content, and keep that online marketing plan of yours humming.
• Topic Searches: By looking a bit deeper into the themes behind some of the questions posed within your Quora network, you’ll be able to mine some more intriguing topics for blog posts, e-newsletters, or other types of online communications.
• Show Off Your Expertise: Contributing thoughtful and intelligent answers to key topics can only enhance your online relevance and reputation, which in turn may lead to their seeking you out for specific answers. Boom: Instant connections.
• Longer Dialogues: Places like Facebook and Twitter have inadvertently conditioned many to think and communicate in short 140-character bursts. There’s nothing wrong with that mind- you, but sometimes a lengthier response is more fitting to certain circumstances/topics and perfect for cementing better lasting relationships.
• Professional Quotes: Feel free to cull through the most well-received answers posed by various industry pros and then use them in your own blog posts. This can help add some viable information, amusement, or sweeten your own professional aura in a way that only a good solid quote from an expert can.
Quora’s got an abundance of resources designed to appeal to an extensive range of tastes and topics. Marketed as a ‘social network for knowledge,’ Quora has actively taken the idea started by Wikipedia to another, more personally interactive level. Research the competition, connect with like-minded types, engage journalists, expand your social network, flaunt your expertise, or shorten your own learning curve on the road to success . . . Quara might just be the resource you need to break-through your business barriers.