I’ve been going back and forth with Robert Scoble and others today on why I should use the emerging Question and Answer service, Quora, when Facebook Questions is already pretty effective for me. I often post a Facebook Question and get answers very shortly after, often from very smart people already knowledgeable about the topics I’m asking about. I find it especially good if the questions are personal, and related to every day life questions. That’s why I found it surprising after looking at Mark Zuckerberg’s own Facebook profile, that he’s only asked 2 questions there, where he’s asked 5 questions on Quora. Are Facebook Questions just not that important to Mark? How about question sites in general? Quora certainly doesn’t have much use by the CEO either.
Robert Scoble insists that what makes Quora more powerful than Facebook Questions is the quality of people answering questions there. While I don’t doubt that CEOs are using it and often answering questions on the service (it started exclusively with invites to bloggers and influentials), who are those CEOs? Mark Zuckerberg has only answered 5 questions on the service, and even fewer on his own site. Is Bill Gates answering questions? How about Michael Dell, or Steve Jobs, or even Bill Clinton? It seems to me that smart and perhaps even successful entrepreneurs are using the service – I’m not sure either services have hit full potential yet with use by real legends like those above. That still doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be using it though. Quora does have an excellent search, and seems easier to find interesting questions as a whole.
At the same time I’m seeing great results from Facebook in the questions I ask there, and it’s already a part of my existing workflow. For example, check out this question on my Ford F-150 truck’s lock problems, where with one answer I had a Ford certified technician providing me detailed howtos on how I could fix the problem I was having. Or, check out this question on what speakers I should choose, and the audiophiles all giving me great feedback on my question.
I’d love to see Mark Zuckerberg show off how useful these questions services can actually be. I’m having a really hard time deciding if I really need to add another service to my already busy and often distracting workflow when services I already use like Facebook provide a tool I can use and potentially (assuming they eventually launch it to everyone, which they haven’t yet) have hundreds of millions see it, or if I should start another tool and have “smart people” and “CEOs” see it as Scoble implies he’s seeing on Quora. Of course, the fact that Mark Zuckerberg himself is using Quora more than he is using Facebook Questions isn’t helping my quest either.
So Zuck, how about giving me some hints here – which one should I use, Quora or Facebook Questions? In fact, I’ve created a Facebook Question on the topic – please vote and leave your own reasons why there: http://www.facebook.com/q/Which-Question-and-Answer-service-should-I-use-Facebook-Questions-or-Quora-Why/10150360664665113?t=2&hid=20531316728&keep_objects=1 (only available to those with Facebook Questions enabled)
I’d love to see Mark Zuckerberg use his own service a little more to help convince me to stay with my current decision on Facebook Questions. Or maybe it’s just an experiment at the moment and I need to be trying other services? I can’t decide!