I’ve been thinking a lot about why I’ve gotten back into Quora – so much so that I’ve started to use “quora” as a verb in the same way that I twitter, blog, or instagram. I liked it a lot when I first found out about it and then kind of stopped participating. But I’ve gotten back into it and it has become a really entertaining piece of my information diet. I don’t consider myself a power user of Quora, but I am reasonably active in reading, posting, and answering posts.
In terms of my general purpose information consumption, there are two participatory platforms that really dominate my time and attention:
Twitter – I use Twitter for sharing bite-sized, interesting stuff that I discover myself or see in my stream. It’s usually links to other people’s content with shareworthy headlines and usually topically focused on games, investing, social applications, or the like. And occasionally sports.
Blogging – I continue to enjoy blogging. But for me, blogging is a medium-to-long form way of expressing things that I find interesting with the hope that others find it interesting as well. I only blog when I have a prompt to write something that’s a few hundred words in length that I think others might find interesting.
Quora is different. Sure, the idea of posting questions and getting feedback from others is interesting and informative, especially if you have enough distribution within Quora or on Twitter or Facebook to get your question seen by people who can answer it. But I can get some of that Q&A experience on my own blog, on Twitter, or by chatting with people. The part of Quora that has drawn me back in is having people nudge me to answer questions (either explicitly through Quora or sending me links to interesting threads). That’s not something that generally happens when I’m blogging – I am responsible for creating the prompt to blog and the subsequent content. But I’ve had quite a few instances lately where the prompt the answer a question has turned into a short blog post style answer – see this one for example.
I enjoy writing but I don’t always have stuff to say that is worthy of a blog post length. Quora has provided me with lots of opportunities to get my writing fix without having to do the work of finding a prompt on my own.
As always, you can leave a comment here or send me a message on Twitter @chudson.