Quora is the name of a new social network, brought to my attention by Kathrin Schurrer, which is currently generating a lot of buzz on the web. Quora was started by some old hands on Facebook, who describe it as the social network for knowledge. This is a new concept on the web, being a mixture of a social network and a chatroom or forum.
Quora is, in practice, a forum because it provides a space where its members can ask questions on topics that interest them, whether personal or work-related, and receive answers from other Quora members. As a member, you can put questions or reply to questions from others. These questions and answers are classified by topic and stored. You can search by typing a key word on the website, which will give you all the answers to questions Quora members have asked on that subject. Answers are classified by order of popularity, with the highest-rated appearing at the top of the page. If you select the topics that interest you, all the questions and answers posted on that topic will appear on your home page. The messages come straight to you, without you having to search. You’ll be sent a message telling you that someone has added a question relating to yours, and you will also be able to see who is following your question.
Quora is a social network in that it is a collaborative website, with each member taking part either by asking questions, or answering them, or posting a comment on a reply. Most of all, Quora enables you to broaden the circle of people you know and of your contacts, because you can enter into virtual contact (initially at any rate) with other members who share your interests and opinions. On Quora, nothing you post in the form of questions or answers is anonymous, as you are identified. In fact, all members post a mini-bio and an avatar that appears each time they make a contribution. This means you have some idea of the person who is answering your question or asking an interesting question of his or her own, which facilitates interactive dialogue. You can "follow" a member, as on twitter, in other words receive all the messages that person sends.