It is, in essence, Yet Another Answers Service.
It is, because of the explosive growth and slick UI, probably the coolest one I’ve ever used. When I originally got the invite, I created an account, but didn’t really touch it for a while, mostly because I’m pretty happy with Aardvark.
Then, on one of my trips to Palo Alto this year, he showed me the some questions from folks like Steve Case, Jeff Clavier, Dave McClure, and Mitch Kapor. And their accounts were active, and instead of filled with the automated junk you see on most activity feeds, it was actual hand typed interactions between small groups of folks.
Quora is Functionally Different from other Answers Services
In essence, yes, Quora is the new Friendfeed – except it’s got a much wider group of acceptance (thanks to more mainstream familiarity with how social networks work this time around).
Answers on Quora, for most folks, won’t come instantly. You can do things to speed up the attention to your questions by sharing them on various social networks, and tagging them extensively. In the end, though, you simply can’t beat the speed to getting an answer like you have with Aardvark, where a reasonable answer to solve your question will come within minutes.
With Quora, it’s likely to be more like hours, and for some hard questions, even days. In general, though, because of the intimacy of the system and the way answering is structured and organized, your answers will probably be of much higher quality than what you’d get off any competing answers service.
And yes, Quora could too go the way of Friendfeed once early adopter cycle progresses.
But it could go the way of Twitter or Facebook. Quora is growing explosively right now. This is a startup to keep an eye on.
If you want to connect with me or John on Quora, please do!