Quora's hot spike in popularity has the social media world buzzing--personally, I've never been followed so fast by so many people. Question sites aren't new, but even the longstanding sites are revamping their game in the face of the competition.
Which will you use? Here are some useful questions (with links) to help you strategize:
- Need an overview? Today's New York Times article on question sites clues you in to some up-and-comers and longstanding sites. Note that two of the older sites, WikiAnswers and Yahoo Answers each attracted 50 million U.S. visitors in December 2010 alone.
- What's up with this Quora site? Best explanation I've seen is that some key Silicon Valley minds have been actively participating, and that usually draws a crowd. The site's already getting a backlash, too, but most people are trying to figure out how to use Quora like the higher education community and the nonprofit community, among others.
- How should you best frame your questions on question sites? While this post pre-dates Quora, it has good advice for posting questions on any question site. Once again, I'll advise: Format doesn't matter. Be strategic.
- Which are the best sites? It always depends on your audience and where it's asking questions, but Lifehacker took a look at five top question sites, including Quora, Google, Aardvark, Wolfram Alpha and Stack Exchange. And don't ignore Formspring, which reached one billion questions answered last year. You also can use a site like Twitter to hold an open call for questions, as museum curators have done, or use Google Moderator to field and then answer questions, as Sesame Street's Elmo did via a YouTube video (embedded below).
- What about Facebook Questions? Facebook Questions is easier to navigate with a new topics manager function, and if you have a Facebook Page, you also can use the Facebook discussions app to pose or field questions, keeping the Q-and-A contained within the community you're building. Facebook will be rolling out its questions service to all users within the next few weeks, spokespeople tell the Times.
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