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Posts Tagged ‘Quora’

EarthQ Core Business Model: Where Is the Sweet Spot?

by February 1, 2012

Recently, we have been working to launch a project dubbed EarthQ. The goal has been to shepherd good questions and cultivate good answers by bringing the right mix of experts to Quora, as is described in this post about bringing the carbon cycle to Quora. This work continues, but so far, my attempts to draw in a few experts to help with answers have come up dry. The Quora team thinks it is okay for those who pose a question to answer it, so that will likely be my next step. Perhaps with a solid answer to the first question, What are the compartments in which carbon is stored on Earth?, I can then start to draw in some colleagues to endorse the answer by up-voting it… (more…)

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Bringing the Global Carbon Cycle to Quora

by December 3, 2011

In a recent post about building a knowledge base for general consumption on the topic of ocean acidification, I suggested that it would be wise to step back and address questions-and-answers about the carbon cycle. This is a cross-posting of a post I just put up on Quora: The Carbon Cycle, Starting in.

And, the first question is also up on Quora: What are the compartments in which carbon is stored on Earth? Do you have the credentials to answer this, or do you know someone who does? Please help out—I believe it will be a rewarding way to bridge the gap between the science community and the rest of society. Also, keep in mind that “upvoting,” adding comments for the author, or suggesting edits,  as soon as there is one or more answers will be a really great way to participate.

For anyone new to Quora, I’d encourage you to take a look at a new infographic and video that helps explain how to have a winning strategy within the Quora community.

Any and all feedback is welcome!

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How Do I Go About Answering A Question on Quora?

by December 3, 2011

As a follow-up to a first infographic designed to help newcomers make sense of Quora, a relatively new question-and-answer site on the Web, this new infographic targets those who are new and want to dive in and begin answering questions. It is posted as an answer to How do you answer a question on Quora? There already are some great resources on Quora for those who are getting started, such as Lucretia Pruitt’s post “Welcome to Quora. Do Yourself a Favor & Slow Down” (1663 upvotes, and counting) and What are the basic rules around using Quora?

As an experiment, I created a short (3 min) video that walks you through the infographic. Note that there are a bunch of links to Quora questions throughout the video—ensure annotations are turned on to see them. Feedback welcome!

And, the infographic…

new-answerer-infographic-sketch-v02

 

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Could A Social Q&A Site Like Quora Serve As Home On the Web for Information About Global Warming?

by September 21, 2011

quora-picture Over the past few weeks, I have been giving a good bit of thought to this question. Quora, began as a vibrant Q&A site for the start-up community in Silicon Valley. Its creators, who were key technologists with Facebook, know how to build a good interface. Their goal is not modest:

“Quora is a continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it. The most important thing is to have each question page become the best possible resource for someone who wants to know about the question.”

Some months back, I posed a still-unanswered question: Should Quora be used to gather and distill expert answers on polarizing topics? It is not at all clear if the answer should be “yes” or “no.” Perhaps, as a Quora admin put it in a response to another question of mine, the right strategy is to follow Wikipedia’s “be bold” policy, which is summed up in three words “Just do it.” In other words, it may be necessary just to start doing it and figure out a way to make it work. (more…)

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What is the best way to develop a top 10 list on Quora?

by April 24, 2011

quora-pictureTwo days ago I posted a question on Quora asking for the top ten energy issues the general public should understand (see my blog post here).  To my delight, the question has already received several thoughtful answers, and it has been viewed nearly 100 times.

I have just posted a new question on Quora to understand the best way to create such a top-ten list (view it here). Asking each person to provide a listing of 10 issues seems that it might not be the most productive way to get a great top-10 list. If one person has five points that the next person agrees with, they could suggest changes to the answer’s author or copy those five points and add more. As a potential answer writer, I could find this to be cumbersome and potentially off-putting.

Because Quora provides a voting system that allows all registered users to promote answers up, or down, on a list, perhaps it would be more efficient to have each person provide just a single issue per answer (individuals could certainly provide multiple, discrete, answers rather than a list of multiple issues per answer). Then, with good participation in voting, an ordered list should result organically.

Within minutes of posting this question on Quora, I had already received an excellent answer that nicely summarized the options two of the options I had been considering: (a) as the question poster, I should jump in at some point and summarize, or curate, the answers; and (b) the results from Quora could serve as the input to a committee of independent experts. The respondent also suggested that, as the question poster, I might choose to ask several of the respondents to work together to come up with a collaborative answer. I look forward to seeing what other great ideas come out of this!

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What are the top 10 energy topics that the general public should understand?

by April 22, 2011

quora-pictureGetting a handle on the priority issues that should be included in Dialogue Earth’s upcoming Media Challenge is no small task, plus it needs to be done transparently and in an inclusive manner that ultimately builds trust.

Ten years ago there were fewer options for answering a tough question like this (refer to our History section for a description of the lengthy process used in an effort to identify 100 indicators to describe the condition and use of U.S. Ecosystems). Today, there are some powerful platforms that hold considerable promise for helping to expedite this process (see discussion in this recent post).

Today, we have launched an experiment using one of the prime Q&A platforms, Quora, to explore the viability of exploring answers to this question in an open and transparent manner. If you have an opinion, please jump over to Quora and make your voice heard. You can enter answers directly, and you can vote on answers provided by others. Here is the background material that I added to the question on Quora: (more…)

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Engaging Experts from Across Society Transparently

by February 16, 2011

A recent article in the NY Times about the burgeoning array of question-and-answer (Q&A) sites couldn’t have been timelier timely for me. Our strategy here at Dialogue Earth depends on figuring out how to engage a network of experts from across society—not limited to just academics, but also subject-matter experts in industry, environmental advocacy groups, and beyond. Plus, I believe we should leverage the latest technology, like this new breed of Q&A sites, if possible.

Our approach at Dialogue Earth is deeply rooted in my experience working with hundreds of subject-matter experts while at the Heinz Center in D.C. Specifically, we tapped these experts to create the beginnings of a national system of indicators for the condition and use of U.S. Ecosystems: The State of the Nation’s Ecosystems. There’s more on this on our History page.

The challenge before me is to figure out how to recreate this amazingly powerful formula, while substantially reducing the turn-around time. We operated with committees that took months to converge on common ground, in part because they were charged with solving a number of issues. I need to get the same great quality of experts on-board in a process with turn-around times of hours or days. And, if that’s not enough to ask, I also believe the process needs to be completely transparent. (more…)

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