• Questions and Answers Forum: Quora

Guest blog by Samantha Hornby

Although we typically write about inventory and accounting, in this post we share our experience with a great informational resource where individuals can gather information on inventory and accounting but also on a wide range of other topics.

Background:

Quora was founded in 2009 by two ex-Facebook employees and was first launched in private beta in January 2010.  Quora is a community based question and answer forum superior to similar platforms such as Yahoo answers.  What makes Quora so special is the fact that it is a continually improving collection of answers to many questions that would be difficult to “Google” or research independently, answered by industry experts and people with first hand experience. Quora questions span a wide array of topics with questions like:

Aside from it being a very interesting site to explore, it is also very helpful when planning trips, for certain business advice, gathering information about food and exercise and has information on many more useful topics.  In certain cases, it makes sense to search first on Quora and then resort to Google in order to gather very specific information.

Strangely enough, the original idea was not formed around developing a Q&A site, but rather it was designed as a place to organize the 90% of information that is in people’s heads, online, in a way that is usable.  Similar to Wikipedia, where information about a specific subject is organized on one page, one of the most important aspects of the site was for Quora to have each question page become the “best possible resource for someone who wants to know about the question”.

Community/Users:

Quora’s ability to provide high quality answers (unlike some Q&A style sites) stems from a few specific design features including:  wiki-style editing, question posting guidelines, the up vote/down vote system, the people-rank algorithm, and the site’s reviewers and moderator staff.  The Quora community is also made up of some very intelligent users who are adamant about keeping the information and answers legitimate. Although it is impossible to keep spammers out entirely, for the most part, these answers are quickly down voted by the Quora community and may be removed entirely by an administrator.

Information Search:

Specifically when it comes to inventory and accounting software, Quora is a great place to get information.  There is a whole topic devoted to ERP questions as well as a ton of other more specific topics such as Inventory Management, Enterprise Software, Customer Relationship Management, Small Businesses, Start-ups etc.   When searching for relevant information it is quite easy to discern the good answers from the bad and as a business answering questions, it is important to be informational and honest as opposed to promotional – a concept that some businesses are still struggling with.

Whether you are looking for information on a new ERP system, the best places to travel in the US or are just curious about what it’s like to work for a Fortune 500 company, Quora is the place to start.  For businesses, bloggers, and anybody who enjoys educating the community, sharing their expertise, and learning something new at the same time, Quora is a great place to share your wisdom.  Whatever category of community member you fall into be sure to browse Quora in your free time – it can be hard not to spend hours browsing all the interesting questions!