Ever wanted insider information – on social media? If your answer is yes, then you really should join Quora. Not only can you get answers specifically related to social media questions, you can also follow influential social media insiders who candidly talk about life on the inside of sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare. Here is a list of four social media insiders worth checking out.
He graduated from Harvard and worked as a developer at Microsoft Visio before joining Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook in 2006. He created the News Feed, and currently manages Facebook communications. He is very active on the site, and often provides detailed answers on such questions as: “What are best practices for building something like a News Feed” and “What is the definitive list of Facebook messaging changes announced on November 15, 2010?“. Not only are his answers helpful, close readings provide interesting tidbits about how certain Facebook features did or did not evolve.
Bill Gross has been involved with the internet longer than most of Justin Bieber’s followers have been alive. He founded the business incubator Idealab in 1996 and is credited with being the creator of the sponsored search model of internet advertising, like the current which “pay per click” model. Most recently, he’s CEO of UberMedia. What makes him worth following are his candid responses. When Twitter suspended various Apps in February of 2011, including UberTwitter’s, many people wondered why, and Gross directly addresses the query. It’s this kind of answer that makes him a mogul worth following.
Co-founder of Foursquare along with Dennis Crowley, he graduated from King’s College in the U.K. and was recently named to AOL’s “Young Billionaires” list. While most of his answers are “how-to” or “what” style Foursquare questions, his thorough responses and tone make for good reading. A relatively active user who draws on his history with the company, his responses are peppered with interesting facts about the day to day of Foursquare. Also, he gets points for having a sense of humour. In response to the question What are some of the features which will help in increasing user base and revenue for foursquare?, a fellow Foursquare employee answered: “We’re starting a burrito distribution network. Check in and say ‘bring me a burrito’ and a bike messenger will speed to your location. We’ll prolly charge 4.99 to start. 5.99 if you want it with guacamole.” Selvadurai upvoted the answer.
Chris Putnam is a long time engineer at Facebook. Want to know how he got recruited? Well, if you follow him, you can find out, as he gives a thorough answer to the question, and it’s an immensely interesting story of how he started out hacking the site and eventually landed a job at Facebook (I do not recommend this as a networking technique). He’s answered 29 questions so far, and as with many of the users on this list, what he “upvotes” can be as interesting as what he answers. For example, while he didn’t respond to “How do Facebook employees feel about an IPO?“, he did upvote an answer by a former employee.