Why Quora could be the Next Social Media Phenomenon

It’s fair to say that Year 2010 well and truly belonged to Facebook and Twitter and no other network managed to even remotely compete with these two biggies of the social media world. While that trend is likely to continue in the New Year, I’m seeing another game changer social media phenomenon rising through the ranks – “Quora”!

To be honest, Quora isn’t built on any rocket science principles. Instead, it works on the fundamental human psyche of seeking answers to questions. It has been around for a while now but failed to live up to its pre-launch media attention last year largely because there was little explanation about what you were really supposed to do on Quora and without all of your friends there contributing, the social factor wasn’t obvious.

However, as the need for “intelligent conversations” grows in the social media world, I strongly believe that tools such as Quora could be the next big thing shaping the future of our online presence.

What is Quora?

Quora defines itself as a “continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it. The most important thing is to have each question page become the best possible resource for someone who wants to know about the question.”

The most vital aspect of a question-answer network is knowledge. And it’s not just the scale and quality of content; it’s also about the reusability, collaboration and continuous improvement of data.

In layman terms, Quora can be viewed as an amalgamation of Twitter’s followers and Facebook news feeds with the difference being that it provides the ability to follow questions, topics and conversations. Add to that a highly effective SEO module and the Digg-like recommendation capabilities, and you have the mighty Quora!

What Quora is not?

I’m amazed at the mindless comparisons people come up with. To compare Quora with Facebook or Twitter is like comparing apples and oranges. While I view Facebook largely as a people-oriented social network and Twitter as a short concise text-oriented network, Quora is all about knowledge sharing.

IMO, Quora is aimed at solving the fundamental issue of transferring the information from people’s heads to a common place on the internet. The key operating principle is simple – consolidate the elements that have existed elsewhere for some time and put them together in a potentially useful way.

Why Am I excited about Quora?

I strongly believe that content is king and knowledge is power and Quora is a social network that thrives on knowledge. Quora isn’t the first attempt at building the first ever knowledge-based social network and it’s certainly not the last either. Yahoo Answers has been around for a long time but it failed miserably due to spam and racist messages. Wikipedia is perhaps the largest database of information available on the internet but it’s not organized in a question-answer format and doesn’t have a community/ social aspect to it.

Quora combines the best of both worlds – personal blogging as well as problem solving social networks. It represents an innovative approach towards building a social network and offers common ground for intellectuals and knowledge-driven individuals (like me!). From a business perspective, it provides good exposure to be renowned as subject matter experts for select products/ industries.

Quora’s popularity has gone through the roof in the last few months and I’d expect it to further step up the ante in year 2011. I’ve seen more and more Quora pages appear in Google’s search results over the last few months and I believe it offers a fantastic opportunity for businesses to get a high Google Page Rank as well.

All in all, Quora seems to be a fascinating new prospect in the social media world. Does Quora form a part of your social media strategy for 2011? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment below this post.

Join the Conversation


  1. Tweets that mention Why Quora could be the Next Social Media Phenomenon | Smedio | The New Media and Social Web Guide for Business and Marketers -- Topsy.com       Reply

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Joseph Cannizzaro, Clarence Dyer and others. Clarence Dyer said: Why Quora could be the Next Social Media Phenomenon – It’s fair to say that Year 2010 well and truly belonged to Fac… http://ht.ly/1aORZK […]

  2. janck       Reply

    “Quora” and not “Quorra” like the Tron: Legacy character? :)

    1. Douglas Idugboe       Reply

      That’s exactly right :)

    2. Douglas Idugboe       Reply

      That’s exactly right :)

  3. A Byrd       Reply

    People are information seekers and always want to know the answers to EVERYTHING!!

    1. Douglas Idugboe       Reply

      That’s true Angelita. Also, people like to help and Quora is proving to be a great meeting place for everyone in both camps.

    2. Douglas Idugboe       Reply

      That’s true Angelita. Also, people like to help and Quora is proving to be a great meeting place for everyone in both camps.

  4. Cara Pring       Reply

    Good post – amazingly I wrote something eerily similar about Quora and posted it just a few hours ago! what a coincidence. The only thing I will say is that re: the comparison with Facebook and Twitter (I am somewhat guilty of this in my post), it’s more to do with the community and connecting element of Quora – the ability to ‘follow’ people, form communities of thought leaders and also the more detailed and legitimate profile information. These aspects of the site make it more than just a usual Q+A site and will probably be what spells its success.

    If you’re interested in reading what I wrote about the site, check it out here: http://thesocialskinny.com/quora-why-you-need-to-get-involved/

    I’ll be interested to see how the site goes – certainly early indications are that it will do well in 2011!

    1. Douglas Idugboe       Reply

      Thanks Cara. I just read your take on Quora, great post. If we all are liking it the way we seem to, that’s a testament to the future of Quora as a social wiki platform.

      Thanks for the comment Cara… and welcome to the Smedio community.

  5. What is Quora and why could it be the Next Social Media Phenomenon       Reply

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  6. Darryl Jonckheere       Reply

    Thanks for this post. I’m finding Quora is high addictive. What a great resource to drum up blog post topic/ideas when you’re stuck for inspiration.

    1. Douglas Idugboe       Reply

      I haven’t thought it that way but you are right Darryl, it’s a great place to research questions that are hot on people’s mind.

  7. Marie Du Pense       Reply

    It’s not likely to become a success if you can’t create an account without an invitation. Does someone want to invite me?

    1. Douglas Idugboe       Reply

      Marie, that’s one of the myths about Quara, you don’t need an invitation to join. Go to their website and you’ll find the sign up link and follow the instruction.

      1. Vincent Tervooren       Reply

        Its not a myth, I tried myself but wasn’t able to create an account. Please invite me.

  8. Anonymous       Reply

    I just started using Quora and do so sparingly because I’m not 100% sure of how I will use it in 2011 with my marketing and social media strategy. So far, my experience with Quora has been very positive and engaging and allows me to almost post a mini-blog answer rather than a short tweet or a longer blog post. I really appreciate your overview! Makes me think about it in a new way!

  9. Deidre Brathwaite       Reply

    Hiya Douglas,

    Thanks for the post.I joined Quora months ago when dare I say it wasn’t very popular and never really got into it. In the last month and a half or so I have really seen the activity increase. Will definitely have to revisit.

  10. Alicia Vaz       Reply

    Thanks for explaining, I’ve wondered about it’s usefullness. Quora may not be used by all, but I believe that it definitely has a place here in the social media marketing network. I am willing to explore quora further. Thanks again!

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