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How it Works
I love Quora. It is an excellent multi-purpose tool. You can use it to hone your skills as a writer, gain feedback on anything (you just have to ask), and/or as a social media tool to gain quality traffic for your website. The basis of Quora is a derivative of the Socratic method, which is to ask ourselves & others questions. Curiosity is our human nature; and learning is a by product of our curiosity. Nothing sparks motivation and deep thinking as much as curiosity. And questioning is a tool for curiosity. Quora is a social media platform that exploits these facts.
I love Quora because when you ask a question on Quora, you are gaining the wisdom of not just one person, but a whole community of people. And just like Reddit, the best advice (in theory) is sorted to the top by upvotes. But Quora is an artificial algorithm, there can be flaws with what we humans design. There are a few imbalances that I spotted with the help of a user who joined Quora recently. The newbie observed that there is a divide between contributors. The Quora Veterans and the Quora newbies. Where the contributors that have started using Quora from the very beginning already have a huge following, and the people who recently joined don’t. This leads to a imbalanced ratio of upvotes to an answer’s quality, in some cases. Note that the rate at which you gain followers is dictated upon your writing ability.
Note that this imbalance is great for those who want to use Quora as a social media marketing tool, since more upvotes mean more exposure; but may not do justice to an answer’s quality.
Reddit vs. Quora
In some cases, Reddit presents a more rational system than Quora when it comes to dictating the quality of an answer through upvotes. Notice that Reddit doesn’t necessarily employ a following (to my knowledge) such that the number of followers dictates the upvotes, not the quality of the answer.
Otherwise both Quora & Reddit have very similar structures. But Quora puts emphasis on the Answer, Reddit puts emphasis on the Submissions to the subreddits. The ability to downvote the question itself is hidden on Quora; but is presented as a valid option on Reddit. On Quora, the value lies on the questions & answers. Similarly on Reddit, the value is in the Submissions.
But Reddit also places value on the comments. Reddit employs a nesting feature that is missing on Quora. Nesting allows for big group discussions, with the best comment’s sticking out to the left, and a responses to that comment sliding to the right & underneath. Reddit is organized in such a way that the reader finds the best submissions, best comments & best responses to comments. But Quora isn’t as intuitively organized; the feed given to each user is dictated by the topics & people he follows. In other words, you get the best “news” upfront on Reddit, but on Quora you have to go searching for the best information.
Other differences include that Reddit has a bigger community & is more lax, yet logical on the moderation aspect. It is customized among subreddits by real human moderators. On Quora, the moderation is mostly run by bots & that ends up leading to many problems. This is especially true for people who want to use Quora as a marketing tool; there are contributors who would like something back in return for their handwork, right? I will explain the things to avoid down below.
Things to Avoid
If you are a Quora contributor there are a few things to look out for when submitting answers. All your hard work can go down the drain in the millisecond it takes for a bot to delete your submission.
First, don’t put links in your answers right away. Wait until your answer gets a few upvotes, then gently put in a single link. There seems to be some kind of algorithm in Quora that “supposed” to filter out all the spam answers that a contributor gives. I think this is highly unnecessary, since the Quora community can simply downvote the answer submission if it is actually spam.
For example, take a look at my submission that got deleted the instant I submitted it.
The second I submitted the answer, Quora Moderation Bots Trolled me by removing it instantly.
So to re-iterate, these are a few things to avoid:
1. Submitting the answer with links. Add links only once you get a few upvotes
2. Don’t link excessively
3. Avoid using weird ALT Number Pad characters like this one ↓
Finding Success on Quora
Whether you want to find success on Quora as a writer or as a Social marketer, there are a few things you can do to reach your goal quicker.
When starting out, you see that the success of Quora Veterens are built on their previous success. You shouldn’t always follow them for inspiration. Because once a Quora Veteran has a huge following, the number of upvotes are less dependent on quality of his/her answer but more on how many followers he/she has. Rather you should look at your answers, and look at the ones that have the most upvotes. This way you can spot the trend or features in your successful answers that you can repeat in future answers.
Some tips to improve the quality of your answer include: The way you format your answer, the length, and quality/wit. The way you format your answer can improve the readability of your answer. I would suggest bolding the main points of each paragraph of your submission. Also making sure that the text is well paragraphed into short, sweet reading bursts. There’s a reason why paragraphs are implemented, haven’t you tried reading a wall of text? It’s like a new type of torture method employed by Putin. Paragraphs give the reader a moment to pause and digest the information you present to them. Whereas a wall of text gives no break & can have the reader lose the place he was reading. So break your submission into as many paragraphs as need to improve the readability.
Overall, Quora is an excellent tool for self-improvement in the writing department & for social media marketing or driving traffic to your blog, as long as you can avoid catching the attention of Quora Bots.