Answering Questions on Quora

Just before last Christmas, I started using the social website, quora.com. It’s a ‘question and answer’ site where anyone can post a question and anyone can take a shot at answering. It’s a bit of fun, but sometimes you come across some interesting content. I don’t know if any celebrities use that site, but some seem quite well qualified (according to the credentials they give themselves). Some answers are quite well referenced anyway, and I’ve learnt a few things from reading them.

Success on that site is firstly measured by ‘views’ (how many people actually look at your answer), then by ‘upvotes’ (how many people hit the button to say they liked what they read), then by ‘shares’ and I guess one’s real status is shown by how many followers you have.

I started trying to answer questions about diamonds, gemstones, history etc. I was getting up to about 50 views on some of my answers, which I think is quite satisfactory.

But after about a month, I happened to answer a question about Indonesia in a slightly controversial way. Well, that answer proved to be very popular. Since early February that answer has had 22,000 views, 426 upvotes and 6 shares. That’s a lot, by my standards. I’ve also acquired a few followers, though I don’t know why they chose to follow me.

A couple of other similar types of answers also proved to be quite popular. You tend to get most of your views soon after you post your answer. The view count might increase over the next few days and then they start to tail off quickly. So an answer that started getting thousands of views per day, after a month is now receiving a few hundred.

Sometimes Quora notices an answer that is getting good results and ‘promotes’ it by including it in the Quora Digest, an email it sends out to Quorans every day or every week, depending on what they’ve subscribed to. Some of my answers have made it to there, and it’s boosted the number of views they received.

But after the success I had with (slightly) controversial answers, I’ve decided to go back to answering questions on diamonds, gemstones and history (for the most part). It’s fun to engage with lots of people, but I prefer the satisfaction of sharing the little knowledge that I have with people to bring them to a better understanding of the topics I’m most interested in.

I also think it might be a way for people to find my book. If they like what I write on Quora, they might be interested to view my profile and find the link to this website and either engage in conversation here or find some of my bigger works.

So far, I think some people have visited here from Quora, but not in huge numbers. Perhaps it will happen as it did when I posted that slightly controversial answer, people will suddenly start visiting here en masse from Quora. But if that doesn’t happen, that’s ok too.

One of the real benefits of using Quora, for me, is to practice my writing and be open to criticism from viewers.

Another benefit is that I can find the questions people are asking about the subjects this blog covers, particularly diamonds for now. I have decided to post here some of these questions and my answers, and sometimes also the answers given by other people. That way, people visiting this site, and not interested in Quora, can engage in the conversation too. I’ll start tomorrow if I’m able to.

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