Why Quora Will Fail


Sooner rather than later

Quora, the new crowd-sourced question and answer network, has quickly gained some traction online in the past couple of months. Like all new platforms I signed up and participated.

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.

What about asking questions to your already trusted / established network on Twitter and / or Facebook questions? Then there’s Yahoo Answers, Wikipedia, Squidoo who all offer similar things.

(See also “It’s not a survey question” / Reaching Critical Mass below.)

It’s Broke
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 :

can’t log into http://www.quora.com/DK as saying need to confirm email – resent confirmation not appearing – help @quora (checked spambox)less than a minute ago via web

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.

It’s Boring
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?

Digital Inclusion Wales Conference 2010

diw2010The Digital Inclusion Wales 2010 event focussed on how Wales can benefit from new digital technologies and how people can be supported to break down the barriers to using them.

I did a couple of masterclasses to illustrate how social media fits in with all this—check out my full session below:

DK, has the ability to deliver captivating keynotes and presentations. His style is modern, personable and addictive, with content relevant to audiences at all levels. DK + MediaSnackers are a must see and offer great value to anyone that needs to enhance or understand how to exploit further their online existence.

Marc Davies, Communities 2.0 Project Manager at Wales Co-operative Centre

MediaSnackers Speaking/Masterclass

MS Vodcast Episode#23 | David Barton-Ginger, All Blacks Social Media Manager


Managing the online profile and content of New Zealand rugby

Kicking off a new series of video podcasts (vodcasts) focussing on those interesting folks who manage social media for their brand / company / organisation.

David Barton-Ginger is the Online Manager for New Zealand Rugby Union.

Please forgive the grainy quality of the recording—Skype literally broke down an hour or so later.

0.00—0.24 intro
0.25—1.15 current role and focus
1.16—2.15 what platforms (allblacks.com, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter)
2.16—4.27 the numbers
4.28—5.44 content creation for different spaces
5.45—7.09 measuring success
7.10—9.05 impact of fan interaction / engagement
9.06—10.30 partners
10.31—13.10 managing players content creation
13.11—15.57 who creates the content
15.58—17.37 social media strategy
17.38—19.34 executive buy-in (CEO Steve Tew blog)
19.35—21.35 future
21.36—23.20 Rugby World Cup
23.21—23.47 outro

itunessubscribeSubscribe directly to these vodcasts through iTunes by clicking the ‘subscribe’ icon opposite (download iTunes for free here).

Not using iTunes? Then just copy / paste this feed and drop it into your vodcast aggregating software.

Find out how to easily subscribe by watching this short video.

Feast on our other MS Vodcasts

Continue reading MS Vodcast Episode#23 | David Barton-Ginger, All Blacks Social Media Manager

MediaSnackers is currently in 'permanent pause' mode—check out justadandak.com where most of the juicy action is at nowadays!