Simply put. Quora is just a Q&A site like Ask MetaFilter and Yahoo Answers. It's addictive and well designed user interface is what's getting people excited.
|Support Methods||Facebook Connect Account, Twitter account, registration|
|Trial Version Available?||No|
|Pricing Scheme||Free plus your real name and position (They do provide the option to interact anonymously with the service though)|
|Author Donation Link||http://www.quora.com/jobs|
|Relationship btwn. Reviewer and Product||Member of their service. Unaffiliated.|
Unfortunately, Quora sounds less interesting compared to actually using it. The initial interface is like Twitter, your later reaction will think Facebook but eventually you'll realize it's like WikiAnswers.
However because of the design of the user interface it works surprisingly clear. You'll be surprised how fast you are jumping from question to question.
Who is this app designed for:
LinkedIn users who want to better represent their expertise.
Quora basically is very reputation based and this is a major part of how it separates itself from other Q&A service.
It also has some active Silicon Valley members already that provide some very insightful answers and really there's so little unhelpful answers as of now that it doesn't feel like a public service at all.
In fact, many of the community vibe still feels like an invite-only service.
Anyone can edit and improve on an answer even grammatical errors but because of Quora's design, you rarely encounter an edit war. (Although it's still up to the air whether Quora can scale and the guidelines are mostly admin wins for edit wars)
Connects to your Facebook and Twitter followers and recommends content from them.
Quality of answers is surprisingly high besides being friendly as of this writing
Magic is in the air. It's not the perfect user interface in the world but it's really a sensation worth experiencing. It may disappoint some power users who are focusing primarily on the features but regardless whether you hate or like the interface, you just have to try it because as of right now, no interface quite matches what it gives you. Give it at least a day and you'll see one of the unique concepts of web services appear right before your eyes. This is really beyond a case of Twitter or Facebook despite the clear similarities. It is really like how Diigo turned Delicious into Web 3.0. There's nothing quite like it from a sensation perspective even if you feel the features are familiar or copies or been done before.
Suspended Accounts still work! - Not sure whether this is an important feature to others but as a person who often gets in trouble with his posting style and lack of knowledge, I tend to create blogs where I post my replies there instead of directly answering under a comment thread and while it's still a habitual process to not post directly and just blog about it, one of the flaws I felt with push notification systems is that if you're not directly replying underneath the page, you lose much of the "updated" ness of the question. A suspended account is still vastly limited because as far as I can see there's no notification aside from someone voting up an answer you posted prior to being suspended (so no e-mail notifications there) but the cool thing is that the feed updates seems to still be working as well as the follow option. Therefore if someone like app votes an answer, I still see it in my feed which is kind of cool as it makes having a suspended Quora account slightly better than having no account at all.
The needs improvement section
Quora Owns All Your Content
WYSIWYG editor works if you're not pasting something from elsewhere but it's really primitive. I.E. you have to clear out a post to reset formatting most of the time. However, it has a very good auto-saving feature of your drafts as you're typing. Also there's no edit for comments but there's a delete button
Tyranny of the social media means old answers voted up tons of times will always remain higher than recent answers.
1 killswitch means someone can delete your answers if they are an admin (although they are friendly enough to pm you) or someone can mark and hide your post as unhelpful no matter what votes you get.
Why I think you should use this product
For the magic. Leave after if you want but there comes a time when a site like Diigo or Quora appears that just transforms the way we absorb and view and attain knowledge that it needs to be experienced even if it's just for a short while because it benefits designers, it benefits researchers, it benefits people who truly want to experience the innovation of the web and not just some like or retweet button slapped on a big community website like Twitter or Facebook.
Really it's about the whole. See, eventually as with the release of Facebook answers (although a representative claims not to compete with Quora and is buddies with many of it's founders) the model may grow old.
But this point in history. This point of where the community is right now along with where the features is right. NOW is the time to experience this.
...even if there's a chance that my phrasing will disappoint or kill the hype for you. Now is the best time to join because it's not just the model alone. It's the community really and not just friendly community. It's really the community of knowledge.
The community of seeing a quality set that may never be matched again and may possibly lose it's luster after a short while
How does it compare to similar apps
Ask MetaFilter - Still "the" site currently. More experienced. Just use this as a reference point on what to search for Quora to see what a MetaFilter representative has to say.
Ask Reddit - Still not good enough to replace Ask Reddit but the design comes very close. Plus Quora is more appealing not just from an aesthetic point but from a question discovery, question creation perspective.
Yahoo Answers - MySpace to Quora's Facebook currently.
WikiAnswers - Feels like a prototype of how Quora figure'd out a comfortable balance for their Wiki-like editing user interface.
AnswerBag - Feels like an Ajax version of AnswerBag.
Facebook Answers - Didn't try
One of a kind/10
A service where the important part is to join and truly experience it for yourself. Doesn't matter if you'll hate it, like it, neutral to it, unimpressed by it.
It's almost like Citizen Kane or Existenz or The Thirteenth Floor... it may not be a classic to you. It may even be boring but it just needs to be experienced even for as short as half a day.
Links to other reviews of this application
It's all over Twitter and the blogosphere because these are former Facebook employees. It's really hard to not have a link.
Here's a recent review of Quora by a Tumblr poster: http://www.jasonsilverste...good-product-friday-quora