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Is Quora the next Twitter? And should charities have it in their sights?

Twitter has been alight this past week with
talk of the online craze Quora.

While the website isn’t new (it was
actually founded in 2009), momentum has been growing over the last few months,
with opinion seemingly split on the network’s merits.

QuoraFor those who aren’t already familiar with
it, Quora claims to be ‘a
continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and
organised by everyone who uses it.’

So it provides in-depth
commentary to questions and allows others to add to the answers and provide
further context.

For journalists, students
and tech lovers the website will probably prove a helpful resource, but will it
have the same appeal as Twitter and Facebook for charities?

To answer this question Third Sector
took to Twitter to gauge how our followers were reacting to this new craze. The response
wasn’t great.

Whether it’s yet on their
radar or not remains to be seen, but the reaction we did get was somewhat
mixed.

Digital expert Fernando
Rizo pointed out that, at the moment, branded accounts are not allowed on the site – which means that charities are not allowed to set up accounts to ask or answer questions. But he didn’t rule out charities getting involved as charities can have a person using his or her own identity on
the site.

Another comms expert suggested
the social media tool could be used for filling knowledge and expertise gaps,
and for widening networks.

One charity professional
professed to be ‘looking into it’.

The jury seems to be out on
whether Quora will be as big as Twitter, but it’s worth getting it in your sights.

  • Paul Bennun

    I think Quora may also provide a good medium for soliciting public opinion on potentially delicate issues. The anonymous nature of question-asking means that a charity can ask a question (perhaps, but not necessarily, controversial) relating to itself without imparting identity. Let’s say, for example, that a charity is considering a re-brand and is gathering public opinion. Without revealing that that a rebrand is on the cards, they could ask the following questions:

    Is it responsible for charities to spend money on re-branding?

    What is the best way for a charity to communicate a re-brand?

    or something similar.

    I’m not really sure about the benefits of having a branded presence on Quora, with the pbvious exception of having an official voice to answer questions, though some charities are adopting it already (I think Donkey Sanctuary are on there).

    Will be interesting to see what happens.

  • Gemma O’Reilly

    Hi Paul

    Thanks for your comments. That’s a really interesting point, that charities could use it as a resource for themselves to gather information, rather than necessarily answering questions posed by the public.

    I suppose it could throw up questions on ethics though and keeping your identity secret?

  • Serena Snoad

    Quora has recently sent emails to account holders informing them that although organisations aren’t permitted to have accounts, organisations can clearly state their job role in order to represent the organisation. That’s good news in the short term, but obviously if individuals move on to new jobs someone else will have to step in…