Nowadays, if you have a question in mind, what would you do? Google it? Check Wikipedia? Either these ways are the most common method we use for searching an answer. However, what if the question is more complex that you can barely find a relevant answer by google or Wikipedia? There is a new choice you should try – Quora. It is basically a Q & A website which provides a platform for people can ask questions in variety areas. As guideline gave by Quora:
Quora works by having the community ask and answer questions.
When you want to know more about something, Quora delivers you answers and content from people who share your interests and people who have first-hand knowledge — like real doctors, economists, screenwriters, police officers, and military veterans.
You need to sign in by email or facebook/google account before start using website, then choose topics interested you. After several step about personal information, you can start ask a question or answer a question from other people, or just check discussions from topic interested you. You can also follow people in Quora, but that will cost you credits, an important element which will be explained in the next paragraph. The recommendation agent works vigorously at Quora by active and passive content filtering and collaborative filtering. By the topic you select in the beginning, Quora displays relevant contents on your homepage and by the questions you are viewing, it shows relevant or similar questions on the ride-down side of screen.
However, how to evaluate quality of answers to the question or the question itself? There is another vital system facilitating operation of Quora- Credit system. According to Quora, “everyone has 500 credit in the beginning. You earn credits whenever you add interesting content other people appreciate. You get 10 credits when people follow questions you ask and 10 credits when people upvote your contributions, vice versa.” The credit system has the following advantages: 1. Ensure the quality of answer and positive motivations of people, because people won’t work hard to earn credits without positive motivations and lame answer won’t get any upvotes. 2. Encourage people ask more sensitive and valuable questions so that they get followers for their questions and get credit from it.
Not only comprehensive systems make Quora a worth visit website, but also users of the website make Quora a real knowledge base rather than Yahoo! Answers? According to its founder, former CTO of Facebook, the user’s motivation is different from Quora to other similar platform. “They answer questions not because they want to get point or have nothing else to do, but they want to build their reputation or they genuinely enjoy helping people.” For example, according to Business Insider, “People answering questions are the brightest in tech – including Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO and founder of Facebook, Marc Andreessen, the most powerful VC in Silicon Valley, and Fred Wilson, the most powerful VC in New York.”