Quora took a big step beyond being a a question-and-answer site with today’s announcement of a new product called Boards. It opens the door for Quora users to post and share information outside of the standard Q&A format.
As Quora’s Adam D’Angelo explains in today’s announcement, Boards was driven by the way people consume information on Quora.
As Quora has grown, we’ve learned that people want to read the most interesting content regardless of whether it happens to be in question and answer format or not. And behind every question people ask is something larger they want to know more about. If you want to take a trip, for example, you have a range of questions, but to really plan that trip you also have recommendations from friends who’ve been there and links, images, videos from all across the web.
D’Angelo makes the point in his announcement that Boards are somewhat similar to a blogging platform, and I’d agree with that. They seem to exist somewhere between a blog and forum, for that matter — Boards can be setup with multiple authors, or they can be private. Others can follow Boards without being a contributor. And they’re not limited to posting and sharing just Q&A content that’s already found on Quora.
Here’s one of the sample Boards discussing parenting:
There are interesting marketing opportunities here. Companies could use Boards to share their best articles and blog posts centered on specific topics. And not just their own best content, but also the best content from anywhere on the web.
In other words, much like Quora and other Q&A sites can be an effective way to establish expertise in an industry via answering questions, so too can creating high-quality and informative Boards be a way to bolster reputation and thought leadership.
I’d add this: If you’re a content marketer in an industry where expertise is a primary selling point, you should probably already be doing something like this on your own site/blog — creating “roundup” or “recap” content, linking out to other great content, etc. Doing it on Quora, though, could also become a valuable secondary venue for sharing your industry expertise, especially given Quora’s growing audience and its solid SEO-based authority.