Take your favourite social networking sites, chuck them in a high-speed blender and hit Liquify. You might end up with something like Quora when the spinning stops.
It has bloggers and early adopters raving breathlessly about it.
So what’s the big deal? How is it different?
In essence, Quora is a Q&A platform with real-time participation. You can ask a question – or answer one – and watch replies, votes, endorsements roll in. The replies then get commented on too, beginning a tangential process that can take you to some fascinating places.
Here’s an example: a sensible question about Mashable’s Pete Cashmore that even the subject bothered to weigh in on.
Unlike Yahoo Answers, which is the closest thing on the web I can think of, Quora doesn’t attract all the spam and racist diatribes that turn these forums into insult-hurling shit fights.
Instead you really do get great, informed answers. A small question can lead to enlightening conversations with many notable contributors.
The site’s popularity went through the roof in the last few months of 2010, as you can see in the graph.
So the question now is, if Quora is going to be the next big thing, how long before the trolls arrive to ruin it?