The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Quora, The Q&A Social Network

Following in the footsteps of Yahoo and LinkedIn, Quora has positioned itself as one the leading Q&A websites on the web today. Instead of joining the website and clicking away until you see something interesting, here's a beginners guide that'll have you up and running with Quora in a flash.

Following in the footsteps of Yahoo and LinkedIn, Quora has positioned itself as one the leading Q&A websites on the web today. Instead of joining the website and clicking away until you see something interesting, here’s a beginners guide that’ll have you up and running with Quora in a flash.

Getting Started

Register your account with Quora for free by creating an account with your email address or through your Twitter or Facebook account. If you register with email you’ll be ask to submit your photo and given the option of connecting you’re account with Twitter and Facebook. Both options give give you the ability to automatically begin following the same people in Quora who you follow on Twitter and Facebook and you’ll see their questions and topics on your home screen after logging in.

Next, you choose what topics to follow. Following a topic allows you to see questions about that topic as appear in your home screen when you login, similar to following people in your newsfeed on Facebook. Topics range from Food, Sports, to Business Startups. Choosing a category to follow gives you the option to follow additional subtopics, for example, Startups & Entrepreneurs.

Browsing Questions

Arriving at the first page you’ll see the Browse page with a list of questions from within your range of chosen topics. If you chose to follow friends on Quora from Twitter and Facebook, you’ll also see questions that your followed friends have up-voted, answered, or asked themselves. You can start viewing the questions by clicking on the question to see all the answers, vote on the question or answer it yourself.

Clicking on the Settings link allows you to view who and what topics you’re following. You can unfollow topics here is you please, or add more topics to follow by clicking on View Your Suggested Topics and clicking Follow next to topics of interest.

Answering Questions

In a particularly helpful mood and would like to answer some questions? Click on the Answer tab to get a list of open questions that are tagged with their particular topics for quick browsing. You can answer a question by clicking on the question and answering it in the box provided. With Quora’s variety of sharing features, you can easily Tweet or post it to Facebook to get additional feedback or even invite someone who’s not on Quora to answer.

From the Answers tab you can also click on a tag such as “Web Marketing” to drill down into the topic to only browse and answer questions within that particular topic. The right hand column also reveals additional subtopics within the topic so you can drill down even further.

Asking a Question

Asking a question on Quora is as simple as typing in a Google search. At the top of the page in the Add Question search box, type in your topic such as Kindle 3. You’ll immediately see a dropdown of options to choose, select Kindle 3 from the dropdown list and you’ll be brought to the corresponding Kindle 3 topic page.

Once at the Kindle 3 topic page, you can browse questions in this topic or continue with asking your question by typing it into the Add Question search box at the top of the page. A handy feature Quora has built is showing you a list of related or existing questions based on words you type in, so you can immediately see if related questions have already been asked in the past.

Once you’ve added your question, sit back and watch the answers roll in. Not getting the answer you need? Help your question get more exposure by sharing it with followers across your social networks directly from the Quora interface.