What is Quora? A simple guide to social media’s new darling

quoraQuora is something of a mystery. For some reason, it’s become an Internet phenom, regarded by industry professionals as many times more legitimate than your run of the mill Q&A sites, but still unpretentious enough to seek out more than purely academic content and personnel. In reality, the site is just a series of questions with a community consensus on answers. So why is it suddenly the apple of Silicon Valley’s eye? We take a look at the enigmatic site, and where it’s going.

Quora’s origins

A private beta version of Quora was launched in 2009 by founders Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever, both former Facebook execs. Quora is based around the idea that people don’t only want to share information about themselves (a la Facebook), but also want to share knowledge.

Last year, Quora received as much as $11 million from venture firm Benchmark capital and analysts estimate it’s current valuation is approximately $300 million. Now, it’s becoming what Ask Jeeves never had a chance of being: A legitimate, question-answer system with its ear specifically tuned to all things tech and geek related. In an interview with GigaOm, Cheever said he wants Quora to serve as a Wikipedia for all the topics that the open encyclopedia finds unimportant.

Who’s using Quora, and how

Obviously, everyone is able to create an account and use Quora – but some of those users happen to be particularly notable in the digital media industry. AOL founder Steve Case is an active user, and Mark Zuckerberg even has a profile (though he’s only asked five questions and answered none). Bloggers and writers from publications like The Wall Street Journal and Business Insider are consistently contribute to the site – even though how some of them are using it is controversial.

what is quora a simple guide to social medias new darling robert scoble scobleizerBusiness Insider writer and longtime industry expert Robert Scoble has been less than shy about his feelings for Quora. He loves it. He’s one of the most active users on the site. Scoble was recently criticized for abusing the site and turning it into his personal soap box (don’t worry, he repented).

Interestingly enough, he was called out by TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington (who, we realize, has a flair for argument), whose own site unabashedly loves Quora and makes no secret of using it as a resource. They aren’t the only ones: Many industry writers and bloggers use Quora for content generation, which, from a certain angle, seems equivalent to a day spent hovering around the tech world water cooler. It raises the question: If the people answering the questions on Quora (which include the likes of Google engineers, Facebook product managers, and App Store developers) are reputable sources, are their answers akin to interviews? There’s been incredibly interesting commentary on everything from Google’s muddled social project to technology’s unicorn, the White iPhone. When a user asked what Dustin Moskovitz thought of The Social Network, Moskovitz himself provided the answer.

But part of Quora’s appeal is that it’s an open forum, and sometimes things can be misconstrued – and motivation isn’t always clear. Companies are more than able to add anonymous intrigue to questions concerning their upcoming products, and scorned employees welcome to provide one-sided narratives.

Really, at its core, Quora is a society of tech and digital enthusiasts who want to talk about the industry and indulge their own curiosities. And its members, founders, and employees are so tremendously protective of it that you either play by Quora’s rules, or you walk yourself over to the wasteland known as Yahoo Answers.

Social Media

Some major Facebook investors want to oust Zuckerberg after scandals

After multiple scandals, Facebook investors are proposing founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg leave his position as chairman. The group says that making the position independent would remove Zuckerberg's "unchecked corporate power."
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in October, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Black Panther’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, subdued humor, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Social Media

Tumblr promises it fixed a bug that left user data exposed

A bug on blogging site Tumblr left user data exposed. The company says that once it learned of the flaw, it acted quickly to fix it, adding that it's confident no data linked to its users' accounts was stolen.
Computing

Google Chrome 70 is finally getting a picture-in-picture mode

Picture-in-picture mode is finally coming to Google Chrome 70 on Mac, Linux, and Windows. The feature not only applies to YouTube but also any other website where developers have chosen to implement it.
Computing

Intel's 9th-gen chips could power your next rig. Here's what you need to know

The Intel Core i9-9900K processor was the star of the show for consumers, but a powerful 28-core Xeon processor also led announcements. Here's everything you need to know about the latest Intel chipsets.
Computing

Despite serious security flaws, D-Link will (again) not patch some routers

D-Link revealed that it won't patch six router models despite warnings raised by a security researcher. The manufacturer, for the second time in a span of about a year, cited end-of-life policies for its decision to not act.
Computing

Core i9s and Threadrippers are all powerful, but should you go AMD or Intel?

The battle for the top prosumer CPUs in the world is on. In this head to head, we pit the Core i9 versus the Threadripper to see which is the best when it comes to maximizing multi-core performance on a single chip.
Computing

Apple’s latest feature ensures MacOS apps are safer than ever

MacOS is mythically known for being more immune to viruses than Windows, but that doesn't mean there isn't room to make it safer. Apple is using an app notarization feature to protect users from downloading malicious apps.
Computing

There’s now proof that quantum computing is superior to the classical variety

For the first time in computer science history, researchers have tangibly demonstrated how a quantum computer is better than a classical computer. A quantum computer was able to solve a math problem that a classical PC cannot.
Computing

In 2018, the rivalry between AMD and Intel has become more interesting than ever

When it comes to selecting a CPU for your PC, there's no shortage of chips for you to choose from. With Ryzen, Threadripper, and Core i9 CPUs though, the AMD vs. Intel argument is muddier than ever.
Computing

Will Apple introduce a new MacBook at its Oct. 30 event? Here's everything we know

Whether it's called the MacBook Air or just the MacBook, Apple is highly rumored to introduce a new, affordable laptop in 2018. We discuss reports about upgrading displays, processors, sign-in features, and more.
Computing

Apple CEO demands Bloomberg retract its Chinese surveillance story

Apple CEO Tim Cook is calling on Bloomberg to retract a story alleging that Apple had purchased compromised servers that allowed the Chinese government to spy on Apple. Apple's investigation found no truth to the story.
Product Review

Dell’s G3 Gaming laptop knows what gamers want, and what they can live without

Compromise and budget gaming laptops go hand-in-hand, but with the G3, Dell has figured out how to balance what gamers want with what they can live without.
1 of 2