Assignment
Create a quora.com account. Play around with it for awhile (at least an hour). Make sure to:
  • Follow some topics.
  • Follow some people.
  • Answer some questions.
  • Get followed by some people (classmates are ok).
  • Get endorsed.
  • Vote some answers up/down.

Deliverables
By 13 May Thursday noon, submit a 1-2 page write up to mse237@gmail.com:
Subject: DF3- Quora
Answer at least the following questions:
  • What problem does Quora solve for you (that wasn't solved before)?
  • What was a hurdle; what made it hard to use?
  • What would you change to improve the service?



Selected Answers:
What problem does Quora solve for you (that wasn't solved before)?
"Therefore, Quora solves internet users’ problem of spending much time searching for answers to their specific questions on the internet. Since most information on the internet is not in the question-and-answer format, internet users need to read an entire article or webpage in order to find out answers to their specific questions."

"it is providing that same service that yahoo answers provided but executing it better. Speci cally my questions get answered
faster, more reliably, and more people actually vote on the answers than on yahoo answers. Thus I think an interesting question is just how was Quora able to out preform its competitors. The only ideas that come to mind are Quora leverages a much more user friendly UI, and utilizing the facebook social graph via facebook connect."


What was a hurdle; what made it hard to use?
"Quora was difficult to use because at first it was a little disorienting. I couldn’t figure out how it was different than a combination of wiki-like answering sites, blog posts, and twitter. I also believe that to optimize your results in using the site, there are specific protocols (e.g., using Wikipedia style formats for questions) that limit your ability to gain the best functionality without significant user cost of time and training."

"There is a definite silicon valley and "nerd" bias. Also I'm pretty sure its very male weighted. I wouldnt use it for clothing tips, for example. The searchability isnt perfect yet either, it doesnt correct for minor spelling errors, for example. There are also a lot of unanswered questions, and its not good for real time information"

What would you change to improve the service?
  • Populate more topics/discussion threads (i.e. incent people to start new threads, particularly now, while the start up is still young)
  • Better maintenance of old / unused threads - when searching, I found some threads that seemed unused or had typos in their name.