Gini Dietrich

Quora Is Not for Normal People

By: Gini Dietrich | March 9, 2011 | 
99

Although she meant it for Facebook question of the week, Abbie Fink asked us about Quora and I thought I’d answer it today AND do a video question of the week, from another Facebook friend, tomorrow.

She asked, “Quora: Do or do not. Why or why not? Figured I’d rather ask you than ask Quora.”

My response?

Do not.

At first I was really pleased with Quora. Want to know which parts of The Social Network are true? Dustin Moskovitz (Facebook co-founder) is there to tell you.

Want to know how to successfully pitch Mashable? Ben Parr is there to tell you.

Want to know how to successfully pitch TechCrunchRobert Scoble, Ben Parr, and many others provide answers.

Want to know if Amazon is working on an Android eReader? One of the guys who is working on the programming gives you the answer (yes).

Pretty cool, right?

Well, it turns out it’s just a place for the insiders. If you’re one of those named above, your question (and answer) gets published and ranked higher than, say, me. And there has been a lot of chatter about the editors changing your question, if they don’t like the way it’s stated, sometimes taking it completely out of context.

Your question or answer can be voted down. And you can even be kicked off the site. All because one of the editors doesn’t like the way you’ve stated something.

So it’s not really an open web forum that allows you to get true and honest feedback. It’s a Q&A site (albeit a pretty cool one, even though Yahoo! Answers has 100 million users and they, well, do not) that is run by people who can change your question, mark down your answer, or remove you altogether.

The cool part is that there is very little spam (has anyone noticed a significant increase in spam on LinkedIn lately?!) and you have to use your real name, but brands aren’t allowed there yet.

Sure, your employees can get on there and represent you, but until they allow companies, it’s not going to be a very useful tool and one we won’t recommend to clients.

My recommendation: Check it out. Search on there for answers, if you have a question that is too large for Twitter (see what New York Times columnist David Pogue has to say about that). But don’t spend a lot of time or effort on it.

What’s been your experience with Quora? How would you answer Abbie’s question?

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

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