I really don’t think of Quora as blogging. More in the nature of Linkedin Answers or Yahoo! Answers. But Scoble does make a point as to what it borrows from.
I don’t think Quora will replace or even be a substitute for blogging by a long shot. The big value it has is the quality of people who are answering, IMHO.
So, what is the innovation here?
First, it learned from Twitter. Ask your users a question and they’ll answer it.
Second, they learned from Facebook. Build a news feed that brings new items to you.
Third, they learned from the best social networks. You follow people you like. But then they twisted it. You can follow topics. Or you can follow questions in addition to following people. This is great for new users who might not know anyone. They can follow topics.
Fourth, they learned from blogs about how to do great SEO. I’ve started seeing Quora show up on Google.
Fifth, they learned from FriendFeed, Digg, and other systems that let you vote up things. If you watch a question that has a lot of engagement you’ll even see votes roll in live. It’s very addictive.
Sixth, they brought the live “engagement display” that Google Wave had: it shows who is answering a question WHILE they are answering it.
Seventh, it has a great search engine for you to find things you are interested in.
Anyway, I find that there’s something addictive about participating over there instead of here on my blog. Why? Because when you see people voting up your answers or adding their own replies in real time it makes you realize there’s a good group of people reading your stuff. I don’t get that immediate rush here (here I have to wait for comments to show up, which isn’t nearly as immediate).
October 20th, 2008.
GuidelinesOur goal is to set as few rules as possible. However, we ask that you put your idea into one of the following categories and consider the evaluation criteria below.Categories:Community: How can we help connect people, build communities and protect unique cultures?Opportunity: How can we help people better provide for themselves and their families?Energy: How can we help move the world toward safe, clean, inexpensive energy?Environment: How can we help promote a cleaner and more sustainable global ecosystem?Health: How can we help individuals lead longer, healthier lives?Education: How can we help more people get more access to better education?Shelter: How can we help ensure that everyone has a safe place to live?Everything else: Sometimes the best ideas don’t fit into any category at all.Criteria:Reach: How many people would this idea affect?Depth: How deeply are people impacted? How urgent is the need?Attainability: Can this idea be implemented within a year or two?Efficiency: How simple and cost-effective is your idea?Longevity: How long will the idea’s impact last?