Quora…it’s fun to say, not to use.

Okay, so I set up a Quora account when I first heard about it (probably 4 weeks ago) and did nothing with it. Didn’t connect it to twitter, didn’t ask any questions, just set it up. Then I read about it – as much as I could – trying to learn what it was, why it was interesting and whether or not it was worth spending my time there. None of the articles I read really convinced me that it was the next big thing, however the number of articles and the amount of people starting to talk about it made me want to explore it a little bit more.

So, I logged back into my account, and connected it with twitter. Instantly it followed everyone I follow on twitter that also had their twitter profile connected (about 620 people). It also automatically followed “topics” based on the people that I follow – like the whrrl topic, social rewards topic and klout topic. Unfortunately, I don’t quite get the difference between the topics and the people… other than the fact that it asks you to “describe your experience” on the topics (which is strange, because David Pogue is a topic, and I don’t think my hubby would appreciate if I had “experienced” that one). Also, the fact that it auto followed all these people…not really to my liking!

After the confusion with my own friends and topics, I decided to check out the rest of the site, starting with the homepage. Quora suggests the first question I should read, which is how to use the site. So, I did. It tells me to use Quora, I need to:

  • Follow some topics that interest you.
  • Browse questions that interest you.
  • Add answers to questions you know about
  • Improve question pages.
  • Find people you know who are already on Quora.
  • Check out the Quora FAQ for New Users

Unfortunately, just with this, Quora seems like a lot to do when I am just getting started…and already I feel overwhelmed. It moves fast – and people seem to be jumping in without thinking (which Lucretia Pruitt does a great job warning against) With the amount of other tools that are out there (and easier to use!) I am not sure if Quora is going to be the next big thing. Especially if they are already making users mad by moving their questions without warning (thanks to Joe Hall for this one).

After exploring the homepage, I looked at a lot of the questions that were suggested for me, or were by the people I (auto?) followed. They weren’t bad questions, but a lot of them had been on twitter already, or they could have turned them into blog posts. None of the questions really felt like they were getting anything more accomplished because they were on this platform. Not exciting.

I understand the concept – crowd sourcing with questions – but doesn’t linkedin already have Q&A? And twitter works well enough for this too. In addition, the site is hard to use (navigation wise), takes a lot of time to load fully and is really messy. Finally, the user interface and design could use some serious work if they plan to be a contender. I’m not giving up on it (yet) but I also don’t feel the need to write a post, answer or ask a question until it becomes easier to use and navigate.

Have you used Quora? What are your thoughts on it?

Category: Social Media
  • http://twitter.com/swoodruff Steve Woodruff

    My thoughts mirror yours, Kirsten – esp. about the Twitter auto-follow without permission routine. Was NOT a fan of that!

  • http://www.ricardobueno.com Ricardo Bueno

    I HATE that Quora auto-followed everyone. They didn’t do me a favor. They made my experience worse. Furthermore, yes, I find their site somewhat annoying to navigate.

    I do see “some” marketing potential. Like LinkedIn Questions, blog your response to a question and link back to it in the answer. But you have to be very active/present and I’m just not willing to invest that amount of time. Not my network and my community (my target) just isn’t there.

  • http://dannybrown.me Danny Brown

    Took a look at it and thought, Meh.

    Like you say, there are already a great collection of resources if you want to crowdsource. And the way Quora starts auto-follows and all that crud really puts me off.

    I’ll give it a miss, I think. :)

    • Anonymous

      That ‘s their biggest pitfall – is the common response is just “meh”….