Quora is a new social tool that defines itself as “continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it.”
Creating an account is free. Any user can ask any question. In most cases, anyone may answer the question, and other users rate the answers.
Users who ask questions can limit who may answer them to a specific people or one specific user.
Users can link their Quora accounts to their Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as blogs. The Quora site includes widgets that enable users to share questions and answers through other social media sites.
The Quora site touts seven key benefits:
- Accumulating Knowledge. Over time, the database of knowledge should grow and grow until almost everything that anyone wants to know is available in the system.
- Reusable. Each question page on Quora is a reusable resource that should help everyone who has the question that the page is about.
- Collaborative. Almost any public space on Quora can be edited by anyone who knows how to improve it. This includes the text of questions and the details around them, what topics are attached to which questions, and the summaries of answers.
- Continually Improving. People can write their own answers to questions any time they think a question page could become a better resource with more information added to it. People who read question pages rate the different answers so that the best ones can rise to the top of the page and make it better.
- Organized. Each question has a set of topics attached to it which makes it easier to find questions already on the site.
- Targeted. People can follow topics so that the system can show them questions they are interested in and know about.
- People. Everything on Quora is tied back to a person. People use their real names and pictures on Quora and have a short bio describing who they are; this helps anyone reading things they write to understand why they should believe what is written and take into account the author’s perspective.