By: Heidi Kulicke
No need to cram your thoughts into 140 on Twitter. The social media website Quora allows users to ask and respond to questions in depth, without the restraints of character limits. Journalists can probe for story ideas the same way they have in the past with Twitter but can now follow not only people – but topics as well. The site connects to the user’s Facebook and Twitter accounts allowing friends and followers to see the questions, answers, and topics in news feeds, encouraging robust conversation across multiple social networking platforms.
Co-founders Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever began the Quora quest in 2009 after leaving Facebook. A handful of other employees who previously worked for Google and Twitter have joined the duo. The start-up received $14 million in funding from Benchmark Capital in 2010 and was valued at nearly $90 million before the site even went live. Geeks naturally love the question-and-answer element of virtually anything in the world. The original user base was filled with lots of Silicon Valley and Internet start-up geeks, creating a useful place for tech journalists to check out. But what about the everyday news reporter?
Following the launch earlier this year, there was a surge of journalism-related chatter swirling around online. If a reporter’s particular beat is discussed there, the site could be regarded as a valuable resource for ideas, leads, and networking. Quora’s potential is yet to be reached until the site becomes more popular, creating a wealth of knowledge for journalists.