Could answering beat out blogging?
There’s a new “blog” I’ve just discovered and I’m a big fan of it — but you can’t subscribe to it in google reader, it’s only on Quora.
I recently read an answer on Quora to the question, “what have been your most important life lessons?” The author of this answer echoed a lesson I’d recently learned (namely that we often misread another person’s insecurity as signs they don’t like us, and this harms our ability to deepen relationships). He made his point in a compelling way and also added two ideas that I hadn’t considered. The author was thoughtful and thought provoking across the board. I was really impressed with Jack Stahl and subscribed to his answers.\n
Stahl’s answers on quora have been a pleasure to read, his content is fantastic. I enjoy them in the same way I enjoy my must-read/high priority blogs (like A VC, chris dixon, Venture Hacks and Both Sides of the Table). Interestingly, I don’t think Stahl has a blog, and even if he did, I’m not sure I would have a found it without Quora, unless he had invested in creating distribution. This got me thinking, maybe, when we look at Quora, we are looking at a pretty effective personal blogging platform.\n
Generally, personal bloggers are people that want to share ideas, influence public opinion, get feedback on their thoughts, and earn reputation. In order to be a successful personal blogger, you must do two things really well:\n
- Create amazing content that make people better for reading it. \n
- Get that information in front of your target audience (generally, the people who can do something after being empowered by your content). \n
Quora makes it easier to solve these issues for personal bloggers focused on consumer internet startups. The community there contains some of the most prolific investors, entrepreneurs, and thinkers who have shaped, and are still shaping, the way humans interact with the web. Those people are telling the service what questions they have, what questions they find interesting, and what answers they have to offer. That directly affects those two blogging musts:
- The site tells you what topics are worth tackling, by letting you know what thought-leaders and really smart people think are good questions. You are looking to answer questions with high activity and/or high number of followers. \n
- Answered questions get exposed in the feed to people following that topic, leading to distribution and exposure to new people you don’t have to build a relationship with prior to them engaging. Traditional blogging relies on SEO/SEM/Social/etc. (extra work from the author) to get people there. \n
If Quora is able to repeat their success in attracting the best and brightest in new niche communities (their biggest challenge, but one they have successfully solved once), it could serve as the tool of choice for learning about new issues as well as demonstrating and sharing your expertise. It has some similarities to Twitter or Tumblr on this front, as it could be a great complement to hardcore blogging or complete replacement for lightweight blogging.\n
Quora lets interesting people focus on creating answers and expressing their opinions, which is all I care about as a reader.\n
That’s one reason I love Quora, why do you love quora? Answer that question here.\n
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Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.
The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.
- When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
- When this phenomenon happens in the pharmaceutical world, companies quickly apply for broad protection of their patents, which can last up to 20 years, and fence off research areas for others. The result of this? They stay at the top of the ladder, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
- Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation the same as product invention. Companies should still receive an incentive for coming up with new products, he says, but not 20 years if the product is the result of "tweaking" an existing one.
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