NICOLAS COLE

Writer

Quora Part 1: Why Quora Is My Favorite Social Media Platform

CreativityNicolas ColeComment

Quora is my favorite social media platform.  

The way that I explain it is, "Quora is what Yahoo Answers should have been."  If you haven't heard of it, Quora is a website/app where anyone can ask questions and anyone can answer.  The difference is that they have created a community where some incredibly high-profile people like to hang out and share their wisdom.  For example, the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, answers questions just about every day.  Justine Musk, the ex-wife of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk is also an active writer.  Authors, CEOs, NASA engineers, artists—Quora is not your average group of people.  It is where anyone can ask a question, and some truly knowledgeable people in the world take the time to answer.  

Why I like Quora so much is twofold:  

For one, it solved an issue in today's society that not many other social media platforms have been able to do.  Quora got people to read again.  Despite the fact that you can upload photos to posts if you'd like, 99% of the content on Quora is text.  And it's not just quick blurbs or 150 characters of wit as seen on Twitter.  These are long posts with depth and lengthy descriptions and emotion.  In a world where the majority would rather scroll through pictures than take the time to read even two sentences on social media, Quora found a way to get people to not just take the time to read, but even want to write and contribute their own little bits of wisdom.  Some of the best answers I've read on Quora weren't written by famous, well-known celebrities.  They were written by a dad of three who shared an important piece about parenting, or a single mother who shared her story about what it means to work really hard.  There is something incredible about the fact that Quora has opened the door for anyone, no matter who you are, to find in themselves the nugget of wisdom that they alone carry, and given them a platform to share it with the world.  (Quora also has incredible SEO, so well-written answers usually appear on the front page of Google as well.)

Second, Quora has done a great job incentivizing its users to continue reading and writing through what's called Gamification.  Each year they award the most popular writers (those accumulating the most views or those writing truly noteworthy answers) with a Top Writer badge.  This badge, although subtle, is recognized by everyone in the community, and adds a level of credibility to the answers written by that writer.  Second, Quora then invites their Top Writers to a summit event where they can network with each other, one in California and one in New York.  Third, Quora's editors then choose the best answers from that year and publish them in an anthology—a hardcover book, that is then sent free to each writer whose answer was included.  Forth, each writer's profile has a running total of total article views, and as of late, added award sections for answers republished under mainstream publications (such as Inc Magazine, Forbes, Fortune, Mashable, TIME, etc.) and which authors are in the Top 10 most-read for specific interest categories.  For example, you might be a Top 10 writer under the Quora category of "Self Development" or "Health."  

All these little incentives are what keep people coming back to write and read, write and read.  Why?  Because they are just as important as saying, "I have 10,000 fans on Facebook" or "I have 100k followers on Instagram."  Except now, someone who wants to become a writer, who wants credibility but doesn't know how to build it up, can get started on Quora.  They can find an audience.  They can get republished on huge websites like The Huffington Post.  They can become a Top Writer and they can rack up hundreds of thousands of article views—all of which help prove that people like reading your work.

I tell everyone I know about Quora.  It is beyond an incredible resource.  It has completely reignited in me a love for writing online, for blogging, for sharing what I know with others and engaging in a larger conversation.  Why start a blog when you can write on Quora?  There are millions of people there looking for something to read.

Start on Quora, and then link back to your blog.  Over 50% of my blog's traffic comes from Quora.  

Trust me, you won't be disappointed.  Just keep writing.