Quora presents a new way to share and gain knowledge. Users are encouraged to add to existing content found on question pages. The content included is intended to answer all aspects of the question and provide any relevant details for users. Quora stays dynamic by allowing the user to handle all aspects of question posting, answering, and updating. The concept focuses on accumulative knowledge so that many sources can be compiled into a single location.
Quora was originally created in June of 2009, entering into private beta in January of the following year. Based in Palo Alto, California, Quora was founded by Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever. The goal was to create a definitive answer website that let user knowledge and interaction govern almost every aspect of the process. Today, the site still allows the user to participate while sharing and obtaining information for many common and not so common questions.
There is an endless supply of resource material found on the internet, from online libraries to websites devoted to a specific topic. These are often run by an organization or group and do not allow for user participation. Quora, on the other hand, puts the action right in the user’s hands. Visitors can gather information by searching for their questions, pose a new question, or share what they know by answering or adding to an existing answer. Quora takes learning and information gathering in a new direction by letting users have all the power every step of the way.
Upon first glance, Quora’s site design appears very Spartan. No flashy banners or graphics linger around the edge of the site, nothing cluttering up the top or bottom. New users are greeted by a few links and the login area. The basic red and gray color scheme lends itself well to the nature of the site, which is dedicated to information rather than appearance. New users can easily navigate and find the tools they need to ask, answer or review.
New users interested in creating a Quora account will discover that the site requires a Facebook or Twitter account to register. Right on the homepage, users are given the option to click the blue “Connect your Facebook Account” button or the small blue link below that reads “sign up using Twitter.” Unfortunately, if the user does not own one or the other, or are unwilling to link accounts, they are not able to create a Quora account at this time. The button opens up the corresponding website so users can enter their login information and complete registration.
Quora offers a unique service, however it is not something that could be considered a need. With so many other resources offering free information online, one that requires the user to do all the work would be hard pressed to justify a premium membership. Currently, all users can register for Quora at no cost through their social networking profiles. Using the social networking tools offered through Facebook and Twitter, Quora also allows users to interact, which is benefitted by the no-cost membership.
Users come to the Quora website for two reasons. They are either looking for answers or providing them. Anyone who loves to share information or learn can appreciate what Quora has done. By making the site accessible to almost anyone, Quora expands the possible knowledge base far beyond a restricted library or site that requires a paid membership. Social networking fans can also appreciate this aspect of the Quora site, which connects easily to Twitter and Facebook so users can easily share what they find.