Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 30, 2010 10:25 AM
Quora is a new startup from former Facebook employees, with growth contingent on current users extending invitations to others. The Q&A site has already won the attention of Silicon Valley.
Benchmark Capital, has reportedly invested $11 million on an $86 million valuation, and former Facebook executive Matt Cohler, has assumed a board seat. The track records of the people behind the new brand, and excitement about the content, have created significant buzz. Quora will open up to the public slowly as a precautionary tactic to handle the influx of interest.
Officially, “Quora is a continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it. The most important thing is to have each… Learn More.”
According to cofounders Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever, “The way we think about this is there’s actually a lot of information that’s still in people’s heads that’s not on the Internet. And when you think about it you would say that probably 90% of the information that people have is still in their heads, not on the Internet. So we’re trying to... get it into a really useful format to make a valuable database.”
Quora is offering inverse blogging or reverse blogging – which capitalizes on a different flow of information than traditional blogging. Quora presents a blank page and leaves room for topic-specific input and expertise. It operates real-time and reportedly leaves users feeling smarter. It also filters content to user’s interests.
As for Matt Cohler’s investment of time and money, “… the people are extraordinary. That and they’re going after a really big, interesting problem (getting the 90% of information that’s in people’s heads onto the web in a way that’s usable). It’s still in closed beta, but there’s already some evidence that that’s happening.”
A kind of Wikipedia, but with a longer "long tail" and interactive dialogue. Q&A takes an evolutionary step forward in online conversation that raises blogging and anecdote to intentional, intelligent discourse.