The future for @littletinkerco?
C&A Brazil puts ‘likes’ on coat hangers
This is kind of a neat idea!
The future for @littletinkerco?
C&A Brazil puts ‘likes’ on coat hangers
This is kind of a neat idea!
The Foursquare checkin gum ball machine in development
A few weeks ago, #RotoloClass students were sorted into the four houses of Hogwarts: Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. (Students who were absent for the Sorting Ceremony were formed into a fifth group: Muggles.)
Each house of aspiring wizards was challenged to use their best magic to create a video with the best shot of “going viral” online.
The Assignment was simple: There are no rules on content. It could be comedic, informative, a display of talent or anything else the house decides has viral potential. The only rule was to do nothing that is against the law or unethical in the process.
What follows are the submissions from each house, as well as the muggles. These videos were viewed in class on November 17 during the “Quidditch Cup of Viral Videos,” but they need your help to be truly viral. A winning house will be announced next week and your votes can help determine who takes home the prize.
To vote, choose your favorite video below and tweet your choice using the #RotoloClass hashtag. Be sure to include either #Gryffindor, #Slytherin, #Ravenclaw, #HufflePuff or #Muggles in your tweet so we count your vote accurately.
#RAVENCLAW - CAN YOU LICK YOUR ELBOW?
#GRYFFINDOR - HOW TO DESTROY A BLACKBERRY
#HUFFLEPUFF - CLUCKIN’ AROUND THE ‘CUSE
#SLYTHERIN - A TOAD LIFE
#MUGGLES - TRUE LIFE: I LIVE IN MORTAL COMBAT
With a focus on personalized news, Zite uses the twitter and delicious APIs to deliver a unique news aggregating experience.
Zite feels less like a traditional news experience (flipboard tries to recreate newspaper/magazine reading) and more like curated rundown collected by a personal assistant.
Ads: None (publishers add them soon)
Content: ★★★☆ (3/4 stars) - Twitter, Google Reader, and Delicious API, but no Facebook integration. Content partnerships took a hit after cease and desist letters from The Washington Post, AP, Gannett, Getty Images, Time, Dow Jones. (source)
Endgame: A rumored $10 million CNN buyout came to went down Aug 31, 2011.
What’s missing: A more simple way to share topics or stories with friends. A CEO the responds to student inquiries and timeliness of this post on my part.
A screenshot of the Zite home screen:
A screenshot of the Zite section screen:
A screenshot of the Zite story screen:
The Zite preview video:
With all that Apple had accomplished over the years previous, they had a hard time thinking of what market they could make a move into next. With the rise of social media amongst the younger generation, they knew that this had the potential to be the next big thing. Well… it hasn’t become that yet, but I am going to take a look at what makes Ping so interesting from a music industry point of view.
Although we have seen many social media platforms based around music, there were none really where almost every person had an account made for it even before they knew it. With Ping, the social network was instantly integrated with iTunes and the iTunes Music Store. All you had to do, was build your profile, and follow other users and artists that interest you.
Ping allowed you to follow your favorite artists with a click of a button. Artists were able to share content such as status updates, pictures, etc., which some may consider to be “inner-circle” content. It is almost as if you can become a groupie without having to actually become a groupie. With the iTunes store integrated, there is a direct pathway into purchasing the artists’ music if one was to become interested through Ping. Ping allowed the listener to become more connected to the artist, and allowed the artist to share what interests them, which is a great way for them to build a fanbase easily.
What makes a social network, a social network, is the fact that we can share our thoughts and ideas socially through a medium that fits our interests. For myself, being a huge fan of music, really engaged in Ping with other users who had the same musical interests as myself. Users can upload reviews that they post about albums or songs that they have downloaded from iTunes, which then get sent to all of the people that follow you. Many do not have the luxury to write reviews for Rolling Stone or other music magazines, even if they have great thoughts and ideas about music to share. Writing reviews on Ping is a great way to get your personal thoughts and ideas out there to the public on a medium where there are others that have your same interests.
What is the benefit for the music industry?
The Ping social network really identifies well with the music industry as a whole. Being able to share your thoughts and ideas with others on Ping promotes the purchasing of music in a time-period where illegal downloading and pirating is at an all-time high. Also, as stated before, artists are able to become more personal with their fans, which promotes themselves and the music that they create. It allows the artist to be more in charge of their own career, where as in the past it was the record companies and agents that spoke for them. Artists now have a medium to express their thoughts and ideas on a more human level.
The state of Ping
Unfortunately, it seems as though Apple did not put as much effort into the Ping social network as they should have. Not many users are still active on Ping, which is unfortunate. This may be because Apple did not release any more updates to Ping as time went on, and not many features were there to engage users in the first place. Ping has great potential that we might not be able to see anytime soon.
From the founders of Skype we get delivered Rdio for our listening pleasure. Rdio is a add free music-streaming social network. Now there are many things that are done very well when it comes to Rdio, and then there are some lacking points. When you got developers with the type of experience that the Skype guys have you can expect to get a certain level of quality no matter what. Did they fall short or pull through to take over the music-streaming app on my mobile device.
Features: Rdio does exactly what it is advertised to do as a program and service. It is advertised as giving you access to a vast library of music anywhere with a simple interface. Now allow me to dwell on that idea for a minute. No matter which of the many platforms that you can access Rdio on you choose to use its comfortable. The interface you given on most devices is immediately accepted because its familiar to us a-la-iTunes store. If you have ever cruised apple’s infamous store, you may feel like it’s a walk down memory lane (from yesterday). However this can’t really be counted as a downfall, because it works so darn well.
Recommendations: Rdio recommends music to you based off of your listening history. This idea was great in concept but falls short in a lot of the same ways that I feel the “genius” in our iPods is nothing more this a “smart kid”. It never really suggested something that I would like to hear.
Collection: This option allows you to pull some of your favorite songs or albums out of the cloud so that you can play them while you offline. This would be useful for you train commuters and such, but in most situations in today’s day and age we seldom are lacking a net connection on our mobiles. Even still this is a feature that gives the user just that little extra bit of freedom. Although the music in collections can’t leave the app itself, it’s still a nice touch.
Activity tabs: Rdio takes the liberty of organizing the music at your disposal by what is at the top of todays charts and what is in “heavy Rotation” amongst other Rdio-ers. This makes it easy to find that song that was playing on the radio or in you friend’s car the other day a breeze. Rdio makes dealing with the size of the library at your disposal a pleasure to work with and to look at. The interface for all of these tabs are classily done, equipped with album art and animations.
Platforms: Rdio is on so many different platforms for how long it has been around. The tool is available on every iOS device, Android, PC, and Mac. That is a very impressive line up. What’s even more impressive is the polish that shows in each of these implementations of the tool.
What’s missing: I honestly feel like the social aspect is what’s truly missing from Rdio. It doesn’t address other people you may know well at all. The concept is there but their actual execution is sloppy, which when put next to the polish of the rest of the system is disappointing. The social aspect is a half attempt at a twitter and iTunes Ping (that thing that no one uses on the sidebar) mash-up that unfortunately just never grows on you. You get no real benefit of adding friends, and its not an easy task to find others you may know either.
The next downer is the fact that you are supposed to pay for this service. Now don’t mistake the idea that I don’t think we should pay for things, but I don’t feel like there is enough here for me to dedicate that 10$ a month they are asking for. The music portion is spot on but I have things like “my own library” and Pandora for when I really just am looking for something I don’t have.
For Rdio to be a fully successful social addiction it will need to put the music player and selection portion of the system on the back burner. We are certain that can do that portion well. They need to focus on giving its users something to do while they listen to their music. Start throwing in fun fact a-la-“music choice” or ways for people to comment on individual songs. These are just suggestions and it is clear that the social aspect of this social tool needs a serious overhaul.
Competition: The first competitor that comes to mind is Spotify, and honestly the only one that holds a candle to Rdio. Spotify does unfortunately handle the social aspect of this type of tool much better than Rdio. Truthfully there isn’t much from the descriptions of Spotify that I have received that differentiates either of these tools from each other but the name. This is a good and a bad thing for Rdio. It’s good because Rdio is younger then it’s competition by two years. The creativity and drive is still new in the Rdio developers, and hopefully they are working on an amazing social model to be implemented in Rdio in the near future.
Overall: for only having been in production for a little under a year Rdio definitely has some promise. With just a few issues to iron out or just simply enlisting some help (friends list from facebook for example) Rdio is a solid addition to the music world of applications. Its user interface is almost flawless. If you were to have to replace your current ipod interface with this one you would be pleased with the change. It has not yet reached the point where it is a successful social tool, but with some fine-tuning that section could flourish. For what its worth the app is worth a download on whatever platform you have since its amazingly available on whatever you can think of. On past that I have been past my trial date and the only feature I have successfully lost is the ability to play full songs in my collection, so I use it.
In our current age of technological development, some people believe that books are being replaced. Why read an entire book when you can listen to podcast, read a blog post, or watch a video that offers the same information or enjoyment? It is true that the definition of a book is changing. No longer is it a pile of bound paper, but a literary work that can be presented in many different mediums. This includes electronic books available online and through e-readers like the Nook or Kindle. Regardless of what format a book is read and enjoyed, there has been a definite rise in interest for book lovers to interact with technology. Websites have even been developed to create a more global community of book lovers through social media. These websites include:
Library Thing (http://www.librarything.com/)
Delicious Monster (http://www.delicious-monster.com/)
What’s on My Bookshelf? (http://whatsonmybookshelf.com/)
What Should I Read Next? (http://www.whatshouldireadnext.com/)
Good Reads (http://www.goodreads.com/)
and Many Others
Among these sites, Shelfari shows a lot of potential for becoming a widely used social technology.
Shelfari is an emerging social website launched in 2006. It was later acquired by Amazon.com in August of 2008. Since it has been released, the site has targeted book fanatics, book clubs, authors, aspiring authors, and publishers in order to enhance the reading experience. The site offers numerous useful links for avid readers including: featured books and most popular books. Additionally, you can search for books of potential interest based of their tags or by browsing authors, series, subjects, etc. Shelfari also encourages its members to connect with each other using the following features:
Building virtual bookshelves
Bookshelves are customized (different styles, colors, and designs) lists (catalogs is a better word) of books that the member has read or plans to read. Beneath each book you can view how the member has rated it. This bookshelf can be made public or private depending on the preference of the individual user.
Sharing with circles of friends
As a member you can follow other members and they can follow you. What you share with the public has a lot to do with your preferences. You can share a short biography, profile picture, your bookshelf, receive and send messages to people privately or publicly on “public notes”, view or share other members’ friends or groups they are active in, view reading stats, view reading goals, and view any posts or edits that you or other members have made about books or “Book Extras”. According to Shelfari,
“Book Extras are curated factoids by the Shelfari community that provide readers with helpful information while they’re reading or deciding if they should read a book. These Extras include character descriptions, important places, popular quotations, themes, book-specific glossaries and more. We have integrated with the Kindle Apps for iPad, iPhone & iPod touch, Kindle for PC and Kindle for Mac. You can also access Book Extras on the Kindle device, Kindle for Android and a growing number of devices and applications.”
Rating and discussing books online
Pretty self explanatory. You can do this through reviews and the “Book Extras” feature described above. There are also numerous discussions that a member can take part in by simply searching topics they wish to read more about or participate in the ongoing discussion.
Being linked or suggested to interact with people who have similar reading tastes
You can search the Shelfari Community and filter results to a tab of “Members Like You” in order to follow this members or sift through their bookshelf if it is open to the public.
Participating in online book groups
Similar to a book club, these online book groups focus on a book topic, author, genre, or a defining feature of the people in the group (such as profession) and discuss whatever the deem relevant.
Interacting with authors
This can be compared to following “famous” people on twitter. Members of Shelfari can find authors they like who are part of the Shelfari community and see what books they are reading or just message these authors privately or publicly with their admiration.
Shelfari users can connect their Shelfari account to other social websites by adding the Shelfari widget to their personal blogs for instance. Additionally, Shelfari allows its members to connect this social site with his or her Amazon account. However, I have not seen any added benefit minus the ease of logging into Shelfari more quickly and the ability to read the first chapter of some books in order to see if that book appeals to my tastes (a function of Amazon).
Although Shelfari is a well designed website with several useful features, the site itself is not considered as popular as Library Thing or Good Reads. Shelfari users often complain that they are not finding groups or discussions relevant to their literary interests and that the social aspect of the site is not practical unless you want to waste hours browsing the site. Users also complain of legitimate spam to the email address they chose to connect to their Shelfari account.
However, users have also expressed a dislike for Library Thing due to its poor design and the fact that Library Thing costs money if a user catalogs more than 200 books (a surprisingly low limit).
In my opinion, Shelfari has the most potential for growth and further development due to its affiliation with Amazon. Recently, it has even added the option to access a mobile version of the Shelfari site where the member can use some of the more popular features such as viewing your books on your shelf, adding and editing these books, learning more about books, and viewing your friend’s books.
To receive more information about Shelfari follow their blog: http://blog.shelfari.com/
To get more information on reviews of Shelfari and its competitors go to the following sites:
http://www.blippr.com/apps/336879-Shelfari (be aware that this site is very poorly designed, but offers useful information)
by Ben and Eric
SoundCloud is an online audio sharing platform where users can upload, collaborate, promote, and distribute their audio.
What can it do?
SoundCloud makes sharing sound files super easy. Once you register for an account, you hit the upload button, where you are free to either 1. record a sound right then and there using your device’s microphone or 2. upload any sound file from your computer. By any, we mean AIFF, WAVE, FLAC, OGG, MP2, MP3, AAC, AMR and WMA. So yeah, pretty much any.
When you’re done uploading your track, you’ll get something like this.
This is the Waveform Player. This represents the basis of the SoundCloud platform.
This is how your sounds looks like on SoundCloud. The player provides a graphical representation of your sound’s waveform. What’s really cool however, is the commenting system. Other users can comment at any point in the duration of your sound. Imagine you have a song with a really atmospheric intro, or you have a track with an epic buildup that suddenly lets loose at the drop. Any of these points can be specifically commented on, to connect the comment with the experience. We always find commenting on the best time positions in the track fun.
The player has a share button, that gives you the unique URL for your track on SoundCloud.com or an embed code, to effortlessly share your tracks wherever you want throughout the web, be it personal music website or Facebook. Optionally, your player can have also have a download button if you’re feeling generous, but even a buy button if you’ve got your sounds hosted at an online marketplace, making SoundCloud a great way to promote your music.
The Social Network
Sure, you can upload tracks to SoundCloud. But SoundCloud is a social network, not a file uploader. So let’s get social.
First off, you’ve got your standard profile. The profile showcases all your different tracks. People can also send you private messages and private tracks through your profile using a DropBox like feature.
Next are people and groups. You can follow other users and have other users following you, pretty similar to the Twitter experience. One more thing similar to Twitter, famous people. Rather, famous musicians. DJs such as Diplo and bands such as The Foo Fighters. New tracks from users you follow will show up on your main dashboard, again similar to a musical Twitter feed.
Groups help users connect over shared music tastes or interests. There are groups for different music genres like house, techno, and dubstep, and even for different music professions, such as producers and DJs. Users can post their tracks to group pages for feedback and collaboration. While groups can be great place for discussion, there are a few downsides to the system. For one, the aforementioned genres? They dominate the types of groups out there. Electronic music tends to be over represented in the groups. Also, with thousands and thousands of groups out there, many with very similar titles and purposes, it’s hard to distinguish which groups to join. With little differentiation, and thousands out there, it’s hard to go about truly exploring groups, especially since a random set of them loads every time you try the “Explore Groups” link. The group discussion boards tend to have a lot of “check out my new track” or “let me know what you think” type comments. It’s usually well-meaning musicians, but you can feel overwhelmed by people asking for feedback. Of course, there are also the self promoting spam comments which can bog down popular tracks, similar to YouTube spam (even though YouTube is better utilizing filters).
Beating out the Competition. Does anyone do what SoundCloud does?
With Myspace, Spotify and a variety of other competitors out there in the market, there are certainly a lot of options out there for the average music consumer. Yet even with the plethora of alternatives available, SoundCloud manages to distinguish itself from the pack by predominantly focusing on user-authored content. In doing so, SoundCloud emphasizes not just an essential niche in the music landscape, but an ever-increasingly popular one as well.
Applications like Myspace and Spotify really emphasize sharing and streaming mainstream music and content. Also, while Myspace lets musicians upload their music, it doesn’t allow for the awesome embedding options that SoundCloud gives you. When logging on to Myspace using my Facebook login, you are immediately inundated with music from the major artists and bands that you have “liked” or shown interest in on Facebook. With Spotify, that option to link your Facebook login information is also available. Once that is done, you are given the option to download Spotify, as it runs on the operating systems level – not through the browser. After downloading and logging into the application, Spotify thrusts you into an interface where you can either upload your own playlists/songs or stream mainstream songs (similar to Pandora). So yes, both Myspace and Spotify offer the ability to share playlists and enhance the music listening experience –on a mainstream level. But all that being well and good, where Spotify and Myspace come up short to SoundCloud is in the ability for consumers to both upload their own user-authored content AND find user-authored content from other consumers. And honestly, the more content we have access to the better, right? Right.
A price plan for everyone
With the help of this specific concept of focusing mainly on user-authored content, SoundCloud has managed to lay out a very thorough and well-crafted business model for their premium content. SoundCloud has intelligently divided up its features into 5 premium tiers that users can purchase. Of course, the first tier is the most basic and it is free, which we feel is a productive way to attract beginner users. From there, users can choose to purchase even more upload time and more ways to customize their uploads. By clicking on each account level, SoundCloud gives a very thorough description of each premium subscription in terms of privacy, storage space and downloadable content to give you exactly the amount of power you need. Understandably, the more experienced a user gets, the more he or she would pay to satisfy his or her musical requirements and upload limits (soundcloud.com/premium/pro-plus). It’s one of the most comprehensive plans we’ve seen from these types of site – which we like. Most other applications, such as Spotify for example, only offer a couple subscription packages beyond the basics which obviously limits the users options. Even with a free account, (what we have) you still get to upload two hours worth of audio.
In addition to the great premium content set-up, SoundCloud also has an extensive “App Gallery” on their website, where users can access other third-party apps (such as Avid ProTools) to enhance and maximize their SoundCloud experience. Of course, users will still have to pay for access to many of these apps, but just the fact that all these options to enhance the uploading experience are confined to one page is a big plus.
SoundCloud on the go. The Mobile App
Increasing the social networking appeal even further, SoundCloud has a mobile app which allows you to continue your experience even on-the-go. The smart phone application allows for users to keep track of what users they are following and even gives the option to record sounds straight the phone. We don’t envision too many users utilizing the latter part of this feature considering the smart phone is not optimized to record sound, but it’s a nice option to have. Users can also do a basic search for songs/artists they might want to hear on SoundCloud which is especially helpful. Overall the app captures the basic SoundCloud features very well. So long as users aren’t set on recording high quality content on their mobile phones, this app serves it’s purpose and functions without any hiccups.
There’s no better solution for sharing user-generated audio on the web, period. SoundCloud has a unique and useful product out there. If YouTube is for sharing your videos, and Flickr for sharing photos, SoundCloud can be seen as the standard for sharing your audio. We give SoundCloud:
canv.as was first revealed early this year to rather mixed reactions. Widely characterized as some kind of “4chan 2”, there was quite a bit of skepticism and disdain spread across the interwebs. However, back then, barely anyone had actually given canv.as a shot. Not only did it remain in closed beta for most of the year, but it used Facebook Connect as its beta signup/login method, which surely deterred quite a few potential testers who may have felt a just a little anxiety about giving all of their personal information to anyone associated with 4chan.
I actually did sign up for and gain entry to the site fairly early on, but still didn’t really try it out until now. My first impression back then was that it was basically something like a sanitized version of 4chan that would be so easy to navigate that it could attract an even lower common denominator than 4chan, while staying clean enough to support the advertisers who were too afraid to deal with 4chan and actually make some loot. Now that I’ve gone through it a bit more, I don’t think the preceding conception of canv.as is wrong, but there’s a lot more to it. I’ll go through how it works step by step, and you can decide yourself.
the canv.as experience
The first thing you’ll notice if you know anything about 4chan is that canv.as requires an account. This seems initially to contradict moot’s claim to strongly support anonymity, but it’s a bit more complicated than that. Many people fail to realize that when they post on 4chan, unless they go through additional measures to mask their identity, are only anonymous to other participants in discussions. From the perspective of the administration, which logs the IP address connected with each post, it’s easy to determine what users are posting what content. It’s necessary to do this in order to suppress rule violators. The actual value moot sees in anonymity is the ability to post things without having an individual reputation at stake, and canv.as continues to facilitate this. By default, everything is posted as anonymous, only using your username if you choose to. However, it allows the interesting feature of attaching your name to a post retroactively, should you choose to.
When you first log in, you’re given the annoying choice to autoinvite everyone on your Facebook friends list. I suppose this probably does get them a few new users, but I suspect most people have a fairly unpleasant reaction to seeing that the site’s already digging through all of the information accessible to it via Facebook Connect (even if they should know better).
After that, you’re greeted with a splash screen displaying the latest posts in the most popular categories. The subject categories are given twitterish hashtags and act something more like reddit’s subreddits than 4chan’s fixed boards. If you click on one of the images, you’re linked to its position at the bottom of the parent thread. You’re then given the ability to reply with text, a picture, or a modification of the existing picture you clicked through.
a basic run-through
Beginning my test of the system, I clicked on the the image of Link/Zelda. This brought me to the end of the thread in the “exploitable” category where it had been posted.
The initial post in this thread was simply the words “KNOW THE DIFFERENCE” with a vertical divider through the center. This was a common 4chan meme a while ago, with the optional caption “it could save your life.” The idea of an exploitable image (something begging to be photoshopped or captioned) was also a relatively common concept on 4chan in its earlier days, with the accompanying phrase “OH, EXPLOITABLE” often posted when such an image appeared. The existence of this category on canv.as is likely part of moot’s attempt to reacquire some of early 4chan’s creativity that it’s arguably lost in recent days, having been replaced with doubles threads and lol we r lejun xD everywhere.
Replying with only text or an uploaded picture is extremely similar to posting on 4chan— you have a text box and a button to browse to a file on your computer to attach it. By itself, this would contribute pretty strongly to the whole “shiny 4chan variant” perception. However, with the new ability to modify existing images from within the site, they’ve added something really impressive.
Basically, canv.as’ goal here is to lower the barrier of entry to creating some kind of visual content so much that ~anyone~ (really anyone) will be able to do it, and that’s what’s potentially their real innovation here. Maybe something like a visual twitter? Not quite, but it might be approaching that.
After making my pointless modification, I hit submit! And now we have my worthless contribution added to the end of the thread.
Look! Someone gave me a cookie! See the icons on the sidebar above the obligatory facebook/tumblr/etc link buttons? They’re kind of like visual meta tags that you can apply to other peoples’ posts to help categorize/prioritize them. The description of the cookie is that it’s “for things that need a little condescending acknowledgement.” Sounds appropriate amirite?
That’s the basic process. There is one more critical improvement over 4chan / innovation lacked by other sites, though, which I referenced before. This is the ability to “claim” content that you’ve previously posted as anonymous. Paraphrasing moot, anonymous posting gives you the ability to create content without worrying about how a failure reflects on your personal identity. But what if something you post turns out to actually be awesome? It’s pretty implausible, but it could happen. If it does, you’ll probably wish you were getting credit instead of the collective intelligence known as anon. This is what canv.as lets you do— no loss if you post complete drivel 99% of the time, because only the 1% of beneficial content need be attributed to your identity.
is canv.as actually worthwile; does any of this matter?
Maybe. It’s probably still to early to say. There’s no question that it’s an attempt to extract the good parts of 4chan and present them in a friendlier way. It’s probably up to you to decide if that’s actually a good thing, but they’ve done a fairly nice job of it. The integration of the imageboard and the image editor into a single interface is absolutely a great idea, and really does reduce the stupid cat picture creation time to almost nothing— sites like memegenerator have nothing on it.
The ability to switch between anonymous and a persistent identity is also rather brilliant, but I’m not sure if people at large will realize its value. I don’t think most people consciously realize that 4chan is really a place you can go to safely experiment (har), but simply somewhere they can post while disregarding normal social etiquette.
The site’s designed quite well and should certainly be very easy for even the nubbiest of newbs to navigate. If canv.as allows people at large to create their own content more easily, that could be pretty cool and make the world a more interesting place. On the other hand, lowering the bar of entry too much often tends to result in a flood of garbage. If/when canv.as gets sufficiently popular, we’ll see which it is.
[edited to fix images. kind of. decided to let them break the formatting because the formatting deserves to be broken]
How many times have you typed in a question on google like “What is new and exciting in the tech world?” or “What are the best home remedies for a sore throat?” more often then we’d like to admit right? It would seem though, every time you do type one of these questions in, almost without fail, Yahoo Answers pops up with an answer to that very question, and chances are there is one maybe relatively* (I use that term very lightly) accurate answer that addresses the question at hand, more likely though is there is a slew of inappropriate remarks that have the wherewithal of a thirteen year old boy and his buddies trying to sneak the words no0b and FCUK in as often as they can. Not exactly the most reliable of sources for accurate information.
Enter from stage left, Quora, a new social platform that allows people to pose questions, and write crowd sourced answers. Crowd-Sourced Answers whats that mean? It means that any user can pose a question, and any user can respond, but, the difference lies in that others vote up the best answers, ignore the bad ones, and can make recommendations for edits to the best answers as to make them more accurate.
Beyond the crowd-sourced accuracy model that Quora adopted from Wikipedia, which helps to ensure quality, reliable, and correct answers to the questions, Quora provides individualized features that help you aggregate information on all the topics you are interested in. Quora allows you to follow topics, specific questions, and specific users (a large amount of the Quora user base are very influence members of their communities i.e. Philip Kaplan, the entrepreneurial wizard from SyracuseU) which allows users to very quickly find information they otherwise wouldn’t have been privy to.
Quora is proving itself as a strong startup through their crowd-sourced accuracy model, their easy and intuitive subscription model and the appeal of the wealth of knowledge that the user base collectively has. If you haven’t tried Quora yet, get on over there and start asking questions, if you can’t think of any here’s a suggestion: “Why is Quora becoming to popular?” I’m sure it’s users will have something to say.