In Social Media

First Google and Yahoo. Then Facebook. LinkedIn. Blogging. YouTube. Twitter. Wikipedia. Foursquare. Now what?

Well…meet Quora, an online tool meant to serve as a continually improving collection of questions and answers—all created, edited and organized by everyone who uses it. Is this just another phase in the evolutionizing of social media? Or can you, as a professional, put Quora to work for you? Here are a few of the highlights:

  • Any person can pose any question.
  • It’s a place where new stuff—that no one has written about yet—can get pulled onto the web.
  • Over time, the database of knowledge grows and grows until almost everything that anyone wants to know is available.
  • Any new knowledge can be added and is there forever to be shared with anyone in the future who is interested.
  • People can write their own answers any time they think a question page could become a better resource with more information.
  • Those who read question pages rate the answers so that the best ones rise to the top of the page. And people can comment on each other’s answers to help them make those better as well.

Users can also follow topics, enabling Quora to show them questions they are interested in and know about. Or, you can follow individual questions, which creates a waiting audience for anyone who wants to write an answer.

As for credibility? According to Quora, “Everything on Quora is tied back to a person. Each question and answer has a revision history associated with it, and each change in the log is associated with the person who made it. People use their real names and pictures on Quora and have a short bio describing who they are; this helps anyone reading things they write to understand why they should believe what is written and take into account the author’s perspective.”

So, what does this mean to you as a professional, and how might learning to use Quora benefit your business? Here are five helpful tips on how to utilize Quora, from Mario Sundar, a global social media expert of LinkedIn:

  • Follow topics of professional interest
  • Follow your colleagues
  • Follow breaking news in your field of expertise
  • Break news in your field of expertise
  • Ask a question

For additional information about Quora, how it’s been received and how it works, check out the following references:

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