THE WRITING LIFE

My Quora Expedition: From Curiosity to Top Writer and Back

If you like helping people, Quora is an entertaining pasttime.

I can’t recall how I stumbled upon Quora, nor exactly when (am guessing early 2016) but from the start there were things I liked about this platform. First, it was a truly global community. There seemed to be people from everywhere. Second, I enjoy helping people and it is a place where people ask questions and you can feel like you are helping them by sharing what you know.

So it was that after a couple visits I signed on and started writing answers as a participant rather than a lurker.

Once you answer a few questions, and perhaps identify a few areas of expertise, the people writing questions to others will start asking questions specifically to you.

For example, I was born in Cleveland, so i get a lot of questions about the Browns or things to see and do there. Or recently, where’s the best place to live. After answering a few questions about Bob Dylan, I get asked questions about Bob.

The more questions I answered, the more I would get asked, and I began using Quora as a form of relaxation at the end of a busy day. Saturday evenings I might be sipping wine, sitting in my easy chair (as I am doing here) and answering questions, trying to help people

Occasionally the questions are flip and silly. “What should my blog be about?” or “What should I wear to school tomorrow?” Other times there are very serious issues people are wrestling with. “My life has no meaning. What if I never find something to live for?”

At the end of a year I got an email that said I was a Top Writer on Quora. In addition to having this achievement noted on your profile, you also see a growing list of topics that you have demonstrated expertise in. My list, based on things I answered, includes fiction writing, parenting, teaching, blogging, movie scenes, technology, chemistry, John Lennon, The Beatles, inspiration and writing advice.

Hmmm. A little surprised that the list didn’t include Bob Dylan.

The big surprise, though, was that after I pretty much stopped going to Quora there were people still reading answers to all my questions. My Medium community has been my new home since June 2018 and Quora participation close to nada. Nevertheless, this week my answers were still read 4.5 thousand times, and over 20 thousand times this month.

It’s humbling how our words can live on for so long after we’ve written or said them. This is all the more reason we shouldn’t be flip about what we say.

Are your words giving life or spewing toxicity?

If you enjoy helping people, Quora is an interesting world. It’s also a vibrant source for harvesting blog ideas. Some questions generate a hundred responses and more. You could probably learn a lot there simply by lurking.

What’s your take on Quora? I’d be interested in hearing what you think.

Written by

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon https://tinyurl.com/y3l9sfpj

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