Quora has often come up when I research oddities for my fiction.
Some time ago, I signed up with an account, and have been responding to a few questions. If you haven’t been on Quora, it is basically a question-and-answer platform. Users provide answers to questions on various topics they know about, and ask questions they want answers on.
Topics are varied, and my expertise limited, but it is a good way to keep myself writing when words fail to show up on my manuscript. Here are a few from the range of questions I’ve answered:
- I’m 18 years old, and for the past few days I’ve been worrying about how fast life/days go. What are some ways to get this off my mind? I’ve been so depressed lately.
- As a writer, is it ok that I write stuff only for me, only for me to read? I had a fellow published writer tell me that no it’s not.
- How can I improve my skills as a writer?
- Will readers be more okay about errors in my book if I am upfront about it and make it known to them in advance that I cannot afford to hire an editor and therefore they shouldn’t be surprised if they discover typos?
- What should I do if my husband hits me very rarely? He is very loving and supportive. He hits me only and only when I refuse to do something extremely important such as not taking my medications properly or not finishing my assignments in time.
- As a first-time author, how do you find a reliable editor for your book?
Some of the questions come from very young or distressed individuals, and it brings a strange kind of relief to be able to share something that might help them out.
Switch on the news, and you’re enveloped in news about chaos and violence. Writing a response on Quora sometimes feels like a small good thing, and if you know me, you’re smiling right now, because I can be quite crazy about my advocacy of a small good thing!
Other questions are from people seeking answers on a diversity of professions, and the responses are very helpful. Not that there isn’t the odd rude, incomplete, or poorly-worded response, but like in most of internet, that’s to be expected.
For now, Quora seems like a nice enough place to be, and answering questions keeps my fingers tapping on the keyboard on dry days.
If you have a Quora account, let me know and I’ll follow you!
Have you answered or asked questions on Quora? Would you answer any of the questions I posted here? What would be your answers? What questions have you answered for those around you? What questions do you the need the answers to, this week?
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I’ve signed up a few weeks ago… and get the odd interesting notification… mostly though, I don’t bother too much with the platform… 😉
I read Quora everyday simply because it comes in my email feed . The questions people ask are quite weird and the answers are interesting so I suppose this would be a good source to figure out human relations
Thank you for sharing. And thank you for liking my poem post.
I’ve heard of Quora but didn’t know what the platform was all about. Thanks for enlightening me.
There are so many different and interesting platforms these days but not enough time to participate on each one. Any platform that keeps the words flowing is worth investigating.
I am not a member, but Quora always has great answers that pop up, about topics I googled/ needed help with. A lot of times the information is very reliable. I think it is great that you answer questions that can help others so much. I know it can’t be easy. If it helps with your writing, why not? I think you are brave. And kind, for taking on such difficult topics. I know the people who you provided answers to will appreciate it.
I am on Quora but really haven’t studied how it works, Damyanti. I think it’s a great idea to explore it more. Thanks!
Yupp, I did actually smile at that, ‘coz it was so “you”! 😀
Yeah, I recently became active on Quora. I like it. It’s a good place to find topics to write about on your blog. Plus, being able to help out a real person with their actual immediate query, does wonders for our own morale.
It feels good to be able to feel useful.
I have read questions and answers but not submitted anything to date on my account. Maybe one day soon though! I like reading some of the topics 🙂
Up until now, for the most part, I have used Quora for reading answers, not answering questions, but I have been meaning to be more active on there since the past few months.
I love the way you look at it, as an exercise for the writerly muscles while truly helping people out.
I haven’t ever loved into Quora and perhaps it’s time I did so as I think helping out peeps in trouble or just listening to them and holding their hand, might be such a good thing to do. Trust you to find good deeds on a Q&A platform D ?
I do have a quora account but I rarely answer or post questions. I do a lot of search using keywords if I need help on some issues. I find related questions and answers to that topic and that helps me at times. For some strange reason I have shied away from posting questions there but answering some questions sounds interesting. I’ll try doing that!
Yes! I’ve gotten increasingly hooked, often reading Quora posts after finishing the morning paper (e-edition), and sometimes answering questions in my field.
I am on Quora, but I use it only to read answers. I like that it has answers on such diverse topics and the answers are usually balanced and sensible.
Hi Damyanti – I’ve had a look at Quora … but decided my own common sense prevailed – and thus got frustrated (as I do with forums) … I just prefer to get on with things and if I needed counselling or advice re writing … I’d join a local group or see a counsellor or looked around for some positives and how to help myself. But your post is interesting to read and to see how you use it … it’d drive me nutty – but that’s me!!!! Take care and have a good Easter … cheers Hilary
I find some of the answers useful
Damyanti, when I saw the first question, I thought you were saying you are eighteen!
Wow! You do make for a terrific counsellor, D! I loved your answers, esp on domestic abuse–it’s just what I wrote in my post on abuse for the letter N, today.
Keep it up, D…there are so many out there who need some good advice on stuff they are too scared to ask people they know.
I am going to follow you soon…There is quite a lot I need to ask!
It’s interesting to know somebody who is answering those quora questions. I don’t find quora very useful when looking for answers because it is unmoderated and so much of what is written on it is subjective. I have found myself wading through a lot of inconsequential chatter to get at any actual information. But that may just be my experience.
I don’t answer them all the time, Kalapana, just every once in a while if I get a request. I only do it if I have a good few minutes, and try to add value. Some of the questions are human-context-related, so the answers are subjective, and include inconsequential chatter. But sometimes as a writer, I find ‘weird’ questions on there, and more than once it has sparked off a flash-fiction piece.
A husband who is loving and supportive and hits his wife “only rarely” is someting I can’t comprehend at all! There are some bizarre, sad and desperate questions on Quora, for sure. I’ve had an account there for a few years and supply answers on various subjects, here and there. It’s also a good resource for questions regarding computer and website maintenance, etc.Basically, you can find topics to suit pretty much anyone’s interests.
Yep, that was a desperate call for help, couched in a question, and sadly, there are many like that.
There are also good answers on niche topics, as you pointed out. DM me your profile on Quora if you’d like a new follower 🙂
Hello!!! I have been bad but I will try to do better. I have never used quora but I feel so bad for some of the questions you posted here like the woman who thinks it’s ok, but not really, that her husband hits her or the boy who thinks he is ugly. How does one answer these? The lady, deep down, knows it isn’t right but she already has made excuses for his behaviours. The boy just feels so bad and I want to tell him not to listen at all to these twits who are bullying him. That’s my idea.
hi Birgit, so good to see you after a while!
I have answered the questions I posted here, and the links will lead you to them. In the main, my ideas chime with yours.
I find myself on Quora occasionally when it turns up in search results, and have used some of the answers as proof that someone coherent has a certain opinion, but, for me, going into the advice business as you have is too energy-intensive. And I can’t afford the time.
It is self-moderated, in the sense that bad answers are voted down, and ones considered good by the readership, upvoted. Too many comment streams online lapse into garbage quickly when not moderated, and it is prohibitive to moderate.
Quora’s system seem to be the best kind – people have to register to comment, so they can’t be totally anonymous, and have to ‘play nice.’ On my blog, I moderate the first comment – and would ban anyone who got obstreperous – but I don’t have that many visitors.
Alicia, I’m not as intensely into advice-giving on Quora: all those answers are over the course of one year or so. I write on there on occasion when I have a span of time when I’d rather write something, but not on my blog, or fiction.
I suppose I have found value from some of the Quora answers during my research, but yes, I have only used them as springboards for further inquiry. Some of my answers have thousands of hits, and some of that trickles on to the blog, which isn’t a bad thing. I don’t moderate comments on my blog unless I have to–for spams and trolls. But most of it gets caught by the spam-filter. Akismet is great that way.
Akismet is a gem. I visited its rejections once, and that was enough.
There’s a pattern to human spammers – I don’t follow any of their trails.
Still, it is nice to contribute to the Quora database, and having people Like your answers is reassuring.
For me, it just comes down to whether I get any writing done – and whether I’m just trying to get through the rest of the day sane.
“it just comes down to whether I get any writing done – and whether I’m just trying to get through the rest of the day sane.”
That’s me too. I think that’s most writers, but I may be wrong 🙂