Friday, June 1, 2012

Quora Is The Thinking Man's Social Network Site

What is Quora? I like to think of Quora as the thinking man’s social-networking site. Facebook is for friends; Twitter for up-to-date news, while Quora brings together proponents and opponents of every conceivable fact, act, or agenda.

If your interest is ferreting out obscure facts such as  on what date did heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano die in a plane crash and what was the model of the plane he was killed in, Quora might be the networking site for you. If you are of a disputatious nature and dearly love discussing the great questions of the day concerning politics and religion, Quora might indeed be the networking site for you.  If you consider yourself an expert in some field--or fields--and want yourself recognized as such, then Quora is definitely the site you should check into.

Conversely, if none of the above sounds like you, I would most certainly think about spending my time somewhere else. For one thing, even the most obscure facts are subject to dispute on Quora. As for the “discussions” on the great questions of the day, those often evolve into bitter arguments. For those of us for whom argument equals life, the site is a joy.

Facebook may be the place to make friends, but enemies are made just as easily on Quora. The most innocuous items are often the subject of nasty name-calling brawls. Take for instance, the subject of domain names, items of particular interest to this writer and very few others; anger often flares during discussions on the issue of “Domainers.”

Domainers, for those of you with only a passing interest in domains, are individuals who register numerous domain names with hopes of someday selling them at a profit. “Domain Troll” is a common epithet applied to them on the site; “cyber squatter” is still another; “scumbags” rears it's ugly head from time to time. As might well be imagined, there are two sides to every argument--excuse me, discussion--and Domainers are articulate Capitalists who often refer to their opponents as “losers,” “quitters,” and sadly, even “scumbags.”

Another hotly debated question revolves around the definition of “expert.” Not everyone who posts on Quora claims to be an expert, but there are enough individuals claiming that title on every conceivable subject to provide any agenda with ammunition. How can you tell the true expert from the “wannabe?” A great question for which there exists no determinative answer on Quora--or anyplace else, for that matter! My favorite answer  was posted by someone with a sense of humor: an expert is anyone fifty miles from home carrying a briefcase.

Please don’t take the faintly disparaging tone of this article as a reason to stay away from Quora; I find the site a bit intoxicating.I simply want readers to know that it isn't for everyone.

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