Two months ago I subscribed to Quora, the most famous platform for questions & answers. Why did I do this? Well, I could say that I did it because my heart was driven by the passion of helping others, but the sad reality is that I did that because every marketer suggests to go on Quora and answer questions to have visibility. I skipped this for lots of months because, well, didn’t have the willing to spend my time writing answers… but in the end I decided to give it a try and make people believe I’m an expert in AR, VR, startups and blogging. And I’ve been very happy of it. Today I want to tell you about my experience on this social platform.
The bad sides of the experience
The worst things I’ve experienced are:
- Repetitive questions. Really. You see the same questions 10 times a day. “How do I start programming for AR/VR?”… well, look on Google… there are a bazillion resources out there, including my dedicated blog post! “Do we live in a simulation?”… well, it may be, since you all are failing the Turing test by repeating always the same questions; “How does a bloggers make money?”… we do not make money, we’re poor… that’s the secret; “If I have 1$ and I want to make 1 million, what can I do?”… well, rob a bank seems the most obvious answer, but don’t know if you accept it. Repetitive questions are part of the game, be prepared to that;
- It’s addicting. Once you start answering questions, you can’t stop answering questions. It’s great helping others and at the same time it’s great to feel like an expert that teaches things to newbies. If makes me feel like an ancient chinese master that teaches kung-fu to his disciples. Then there are people that request me to answer to certain questions and this makes me feel like I’m the “chosen one” that has to save the world by solving a problem. This means that at a certain point someone has to close to my browser or I spend the whole day writing random answers to random questions;
- It’s time consuming. Quora is a serious platform and if you write an answer you have to make sure that you’re writing a good one. So you have to add links, images, videos. You can’t just answer with “yes” or “cool, bro!”. So every answer requires time and if you start answering multiple questions, you’d better to have some dedicated time to do that;
- Few traffic gain. This is where my inner marketer got deluded by Quora. Reason is AR and VR are still a niche, so there are not those bazillion views on the answers. When I see someone having lots of views on an AR or VR answer, it is because this question has been tagged also with technologies that have more followers, like “smartphones”. This makes the return in views from the time spent on the platform too little to make it worth. And since there are few views, there are also few upvotes and this makes me feel as I’m only writing bullshit (honestly it may be). So, if you’re doing this only for the views and the likes, now it is not the time to be on Quora. Use this platform if you’re passionate in spreading your knowledge of *R realities.
This bad experience reminded me that while AR and VR are awesome and we all love them, at current time they’re only a little niche, a little movement of very passionate people. The fact that we read the whole day about AR and VR makes us biased, makes us feel as VR is everywhere, but this is not true (even if Apple could change things in the upcoming times).
The good sides of the exprience
In the end I love Quora, because:
- It’s a place where to share knowledge. I know some things about AR and VR and try to teach it to people who do not know those things. If we want to push VR, we have to help each other and Quora is a great place to help other people. So maybe you start because you care about the views, but in the end you continue because of that master-of-kung-fu-teaching-to-disciples feeling;
- You propose yourself as an expert. If you answer questions on Quora, you look immediately like someone that has a deep knowledge on a topic. You immediately look like a super-hero. After first days there, I got contacted for a potential book proposal… wow! I refused that, but I found that super-flattering. There are people out there that are convinced that I really know something about AR and VR, it’s amazing! (sad reality is that there is actually a cat walking on the keyboard and creating the answers);
- Traffic is not great, but it’s constant. If one day I don’t tweet anything, I got zero views on my tweets. With Quora is different: some days ago I was super-busy, so I didn’t go on Quora for like 3-4 days. Views of my answer dropped of 35% circa and this meant that a good 65% of daily views was still there even if I didn’t write anything for days! People look for answers and find them on Quora even if you wrote them a long time ago. So good answers have a steady flow of views and continue carrying some people to my website… maybe they’re not many, but every single person more here is very welcome!
- It reminds me that VR is a place full of opportunities. Since VR and AR are still a niche, there aren’t many people answering those topics, so it is easy to show off. I’ve become easily one of the top 10 writers in AR and VR… and one day I found myself at the first place as most read author in Augmented Reality category! Wow, something I could be proud for the rest of my life! Obtaining these results in estabilished markets like “smartphones” is really really hard, but in a new and promising market like VR this is absolutely possible! VR and AR are a technological revolution that happens one in ten years and offers us possibilities that few other technologies offer: proposing ourselves as top experts on a topic is one of these (even if I’m not an expert, I’ve just a smart walking cat).
I’ll continue using Quora because I love helping others in the VR communities and I love the feeling of being a super-incredible-hyper-AR-VR-expert. If you have a VR/AR startup, my advice is to go there to push forward the VR ecosystem and also get your share of visibility (but please do not surpass me in the rankings!).
(Header image by Quora)