More on Quora

My name is Matt Gratt, and I’m a Quora-holic.
(Hi Matt! The room shouts in unison.)

Just kidding. But I do really enjoy using the QA web application. If you love learning new things, it’s a great way to spend an afternoon.

Quora still has issues – I’ve written about those before. Quora’s answer quality is still really strong in some places, but it can be really inconsistent.

It seems that prominent users who write good answers have big networks of other users who write good answers. When these prominent users interact with a thread, it gets placed into the activity streams of other ‘good’ users. Then the answer quality can get really high.

However, when your thread gets low quality answers, these higher quality users don’t engage with it, and the answer quality starts low and stays low. (Upon further research, I see Quora’s Marc Bodnick has given some tips to get better answers for your Quora thread.)

You might call this the ‘broken windows theory’ of Quora threads.

However, in Quora’s defense, it seems that the overall quantity of the answers is improving. And according to PandoDaily, the quantity of content is improving, especially in categories like food and entertainment, life advice, and news and politics. Even JJ Abrams is answering movie questions now.

How to Write Better Quora Answers

While indulging my Quora addiction, I’ve discovered some ways to make your answers even better:

  • Include pictures. If you’re answering a web marketing question, include a relevant screenshot. It’s not hard to draw a graph to describe what you’re talking about in MSPaint or your other favorite graphics program.
  • Use facts. Cite sources. Many Quora users are still largely left-brained Silicon Valley folks – so facts are important. If you can, cite some sort of primary source or provide data.
  • Promote your answers. If you have Quora credits, you can promote your answer to other Quorans. This is a great way to get upvotes, get into more people’s feeds, and get even more upvotes, touching off a virtuous cycle of exposure and upvotes.
  • Feel free to add clarifying statements to the front of your answer. I answer a lot of marketing questions, and as you may know, all marketing is situational. (If marketing wasn’t, all marketing people would have been entirely replaced by interns reading blogs roughly 3-4 years ago.) As such, the answer is going to be very different depending on company stage, market type, etc., so I caveat a lot of questions at the beginning. If you answer vague questions, you can too.

Must-Follow Quora Users

Matthew Carroll

Matthew Carroll is an entrepreneur focused on apparel ecommerce specifically the operational, unsexy side of ecommerce. He shares great information about financial models, inventory, ecommerce strategy, and more. His writing is frequently featured in Forbes. He even became an advisor to ManPacks based on his Quora answers. And his brand is called Fail Harder perfectly encapsulating the entrepreneurial spirit.

He does a lot of data-backed trend analysis as well if you like Grattisfaction at all (or at least sometimes), youll definitely like his answers.
Great Answers:
How do Subscription Commerce companies manage the fulfillment side of their business?
How Does Gilt Groupes Business Model Work?
What is the Next Wave of Innovation in eCommerce After Flash Sales and Private Sales?

Marc Bodnick

Marc is a Quora employee working on product marketing, community, and business operations. He’s a master curator of Quora answers – simply reading his upvotes is like wandering through the sum of human knowledge.
He also co-founded Elevation Partners the PE firm that Bono is involved in. And he uses a picture of Biggie as his avatar.

Great Answers:
Why do people sell their businesses to Warren Buffett?
Are two party negeotiations a zero sum game?
When should you trust your gut feeling?

Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe is a multiple-time successful entrepreneur, with startups like Vontu, Kana, and I/PRO on his resume. Now he’s the CEO of Pipewise.
He answers questions about entrepreneurship, technical strategy for startups, and life in general.
Great Answers:
What is the best place to host a Startup SaaS?
Has Google reached its prime?
What characteristic of human psychology drives people to be so territorial about their airplane seat?

What do you love and hate about Quora? Who are the best people to follow?