Quora: My latest addiction!

You may already be aware of a new startup called Quora. If you aren’t then you ought to be. Quora is a new web startup where you can spend a lot of time and come out with a lot of knowledge and can’t wait to go back. If you are a blogger then there is a good chance that you get two blog posts out of it. Quora is a basic Question and Answer website where the questions and answers are administrated by few Quora folks and few non-Quora folks. Some even think that Quora is a $1 billion company basically because there are no high quality content creation web sites.

Huffington Post and even Asian Correspondent create content which the regular news sites are finding hard to compete with. But Quora is a new way of high quality content creation. It’s a little longer than a tweet and little shorter than a blog post. Most of the answers could be one-liners and a few could go to 200 words. The best part about Quora is you are questioning and answering at the same time. Quora would not replace anything existing but would be a great complement to the existing ecosystem. People would start quoting from Quora just like they do now with Wikipedia. I have my reservations about quoting Quora but it is either already happening or would happen more frequently.

How is it different from Wikipedia or Yahoo Answers?  I am not sure how it is different from Wikipedia, Yahoo answers or the online forums. I just know that it is different. The user interface is clean and the registration is clean (there’s is none actually if you are a Facebook/Twitter user). If you are online then you already are on Facebook because Facebook is the third most populous country – if it was a country. Quora also has the follow a topic or follow a question or follow a user feature. The single most differentiator of Quora is quality. That is hard to come by for online content. I have spent enough time on Quora and I can easily say that it’s nothing like anything we have seen so far. The most noteworthy thing about Quora is quality. Most of the answers are from tech insiders, employees and employees of other startups.

Quora answers a lot of questions about itself too. It has posted its entire technology stack and rationalized many of its choices. Quora uses Python as its core programming language with C++ doing some heavy lifting, Javascript for scripting, Pylons for the web framework, Paste, nginx and HAProxy for the web server layer and Tornado as the comet server. Quora is hosted on Amazon EC2, S3, uses MySQL+MemCache as a data store and uses Git for version control.

Quora’s content is not yet indexed in Google or any other search engines which means you have to visit the site regularly.

Quora is more like a Ask HN feature of Hacker News. But Hacker News is more of an aggregator and less of a creator. Quora is a user generated quality content creator. Facebook with its product called Questions is all set to nip Quora. But something inside me says that Quora will survive. People often need specialized services even a similar service available as a standard offering in the existing platform.

Check Quora now.