3 min read

Quora is already "Google Useful"

If you haven’t heard of Quora, you should certainly try to get an invite and check it out (I’ll give one away in the comments).  It’s a social Q&A site from a bunch of early Facebook employees.  Crunchbase has a better explanation here, but the best way to experience Quora is to use the product itself.  In my mind, Quora has already crossed the threshold of being what I refer to as “Google Useful”.  Google’s obviously good at performing searches that are routine and really popular like: What is the population of Miami or who is Paul Graham?  The real value of Google is throwing it a long term search term, one which it may have never even experienced before, and getting back useful information.  This is what I call “Google Useful”: Getting back relevant results for a random real life scenario that may not be frequently be asked or documented.  Here’s my story on how I’ve found Quora to be “Google Useful”.

Two weekends ago I went out with my roommate whom happens to be female.  She’s newly single, and I’m also single as well.  Raina said to me: “So now I can be your wingwoman!”  My response?  Yeah, not sure how that one works, since you’re female and all.  Usually guys have a wingman.  At this point, I had the option of using Google to search for: “How does a girl become a wingman for a guy” hoping to get some good results.  Then I had an epiphany due to the fact that I was at the optimal point in the Ballmer peak–  Try using Quora.  So from my iPhone I typed in on Quora: What is the best way for a female to act as a “wingwoman” to a male?  [View actual question here] Here’s what happened after:

  • Within 1-2 minutes I automatically had an in-depth response that far outweighed anything Google could have given me.

I have a couple male friends who I deeply respect and go way back with. Whenever I act the wingwoman to any of my newer male buddies I usually try to act just like I do with my older friends. Giving off a sisterly, platonic, comfortable vibe with the guys you’re backing up is important so you don’t unintentionally scare off other women.

Other than that, just be super sociable. Use your womanly conversational charms to draw in other females or mixed groups and create a fun, chatty atmosphere. Girls are more likely to feel comfortable talking to other girls than strange men, so lead the conversation when you must and create opportunities for your guy friends to speak up and show off. Make them sound good without being obvious, that sort of thing.

Other than that- it usually works better for a guy when things are going well if youskip out first (at the right time of course, when everyone’s comfortable & flirty). Then he doesn’t have to separate the girl from the herd, and things don’t seem so planned and predatory. It’s just “Oh no, look at the time, gotta go!” and your guy friend is left conveniently with the full attention of his object of desire.

  • Within 10 minutes I had a second response, though that has since been deleted.

This truly amazed me.  A service that does not have widespread adoption yet due to its invite only nature/early testing is able to return me something that I don’t feel Google could have.  I even parsed the language naturally using wingwoman instead of wingman, because I knew Google would be confused by this term, whereas Quora wasn’t.  The response wasn’t Google fast (milliseconds), but it was certainly fast enough that the quality of information was worth it.  Over time this waiting period on Quora can only decrease as the amount of users and the amount of questions that have already been answered increases.  The product is also built very well to ensure rapid communication so that answers can be updated very very fast.  Many ask if Quora can make it out of the silicon valley echo chamber or if it can really be useful to a mainstream audience.  My verdict: Yes. Oh Hell Yes.