Sooner rather than later
I’m not a fan and here’s why :
You're only allowed to use your real name. Fair enough (and Quora were great in assisting me get my handle for my common law name, thanks guys).
Company names are also not allowed at this stage. Again, fair enough, it’s their site and they make the rules. But what about Edmodo or Vimeo or 37signals? It seems when you tag a question it creates a page for that brand / organisation, and here is where the danger lies : it has the potential to turn into another Get Satisfaction dilemma where they establish pages without permission or assistance from the sites / companies / organisations cited?
Quora offers nothing really new.
(See also “It’s not a survey question” / Reaching Critical Mass below.)
For some reason I can’t sign in anymore. Apparently I haven’t validated my email address. Even though I ask for it to be sent again it never appears. Now I’m quite au fait with this online stuff and know it’s not in my spam box or going somewhere else. Makes you wonder what else is broke in the code?
They Built A Walled Garden
There is no contact page. As I can’t sign in I can’t contact any of the admins to message. I have sent them half a dozen requests through their Quora presence and as yet got no replies :
Guidelines vs Rules
I had a quick response from one of the admins on the site who cited how the ‘guidelines’ forbid any lower case use (I forgot to use a capital “I”). I’m being pedantic here but guidelines are different from rules surely? Call a spade a spade!
Only Browser Based
The web is increasingly become mobile and without any apps to quickly check responses, validate friends requests, research other questions etc the service is somewhat limited.
After a few days on the site, searching and participating you quickly get bored. Obviously this is subjective but after talking to some of my peers they feel the same way. Also it’s only text with no allowances for images or embeds like videos.
They Don’t Do Personal
I posed the following question : What is your blogging strategy?. An admin went in a changed it to “What are some good blogging strategies?”, I changed it back after personally replying to the gentleman stating the change altered the specifics of what I was asking. He said my question was against the guidelines (again) because it was a survey question:
Survey Questions aren’t allowed on Quora right now. Try to rewrite this question so it doesn’t address the answerer and is generalizable or more directly addresses the information you are looking for. For example, instead of “What is your favorite beach in LA?” ask something like “What are the nicest beaches for families in LA?”
I get it. Although my question directly relates to the individual who has that experience and information. Don’t know about you but asking what strategies work for individuals is much more powerful than generic responses… maybe they will change this going forward and allow this option to ask 'personal questions', maybe it will be too late when they do.
Reaching Critical Mass
There's been a huge take-up amongst the web 2.0 crowd. Big players banging the Quora drum and letting everyone know how cool this is. Outside of this group though I haven't seen anyone else take it up and tell others they need to be on this new platform. Therefore, it will never reach critical mass and capture a foot-hold.
(Haven't a clue what the critical mass is by the way, I just know there are far more groovier things to participate in on the web than answering / posing questions on a platform which have the above limitations.)
Then again, for exactly the above reasons Quora might succeed and I'll stick my hand up and say I was wrong. What do you think?