Another reason to love Quora!

I love Quora. Have you used it? It seems that lately a lot of people are using it. I have been on Quora for years and think it’s one of the greatest ideas that exists on the web. On Quora, you ask a question and people answer your questions. If you like someone’s answer to a question, you can “upvote” it (which means that you think the answer is better than other answers to the same question). The idea is that the “best” answers to each question rise to the top and ultimately Quora becomes “the” place to go to for the answers to just about any question.

Recently “jelly.co” launched. This does the same thing, but with pictures. So it’s sort of an “Instagram meets Quora” and it’s getting lots of press (mostly because it was launched by the co-founder of Twitter). Perhaps, due to Jelly (or because of some other marketing strategy that I haven’t seen) more people are signing up for Quora.

I know this because after years of almost nothing, it seems that in the last few weeks/months I keep getting more notifications of people “following me” on Quora. Whatever the reason, it’s good for Quora and therefore good for me. The more people that use it, the better the answers (and the questions) get.

Anyways, today I was looking on Quora and saw that someone had posted an answer to the question “What answers on Quora have the most upvotes?” This was interesting to me as an indication of the mindset of the Quora community. So I checked it out.

One of the answers with the most upvotes was to this question: “What were the most ridiculous startup ideas that eventually became successful?” and the answer, is both accurate and hilarious. My favorite type of content. Well worth a read… of course #1 is “Facebook” and here’s what the answerer (is that a word?) said:

Facebook – the world needs yet another Myspace or Friendster except several years late. We’ll only open it up to a few thousand overworked, anti-social, Ivy Leaguers. Everyone else will then join since Harvard students are so cool.

The rest are just as funny. Hope you enjoy it. (And Quora if you’ve never seen it).

I posted a question once, when I first became MD of Wireworks. I couldn’t find it on Quora (in time to finish this post) but I asked people what business advice do they wish someone had given them when they first started their startup. If I find the link I’ll post it. I’d love to know your answers.

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The Power of the Visual

There is a lot of pointless “content” being created
and pushed at us. I know a lot of people who are struggling to decide how much to spend on telling their stories in more beautiful ways.

It’s hard to know if it’s worth paying for the photoshoot, or paying for the extra animations that your agency has asked for to make the brand film look perfect. Even paying someone to design your website or your logo and business cards can sometimes seem hard to justify. Especially when it seems like a lot of the content we’re all bombarded with looks like it was made by a someone’s 14-year old who knows how to mess around a little in iMovie, or worse.

Content is everywhere. The majority of it is pretty boring. Some of it is so bad, it’s offensive. But every now and then something really remarkable comes along.

To me, the definition of remarkable is something as follows:

The “piece of content” (what did we call it before the internet?) has to be carefully created down to every detail, executed with precision and, most importantly, tell me a story that engages me both intellectually and emotionally. It’s been my experience that, without fail, remarkable content almost always includes a story, a fact or set of facts that I have not heard before. In a few cases, it’s not a new story or fact, but a new perspective on someone else’s story or fact.

This time, it was DDI’s “The Power of the Visual”, presented beautifully on their website (and on Vimeo).

Thanks to an email from LinkedIn (who have gotten very good at recommending interesting content lately), I had the pleasure of watching “The Power of the Visual”(made by DDI, an integrated ad agency from Australia, who I had not come across before).  This video, which is beautiful and immensely engaging to me, answers the question “Why does visual information work better than text” better than any savvy marketer has ever tap-danced a budget-conscious client in their life. The next time you’re asked why someone should invest in making things look good, show them this video.

Then just walk out of the room.

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