Whether you’re looking for the best date-night restaurant in Paris, the best food cart in Portland, or just some general information about the evolutionary purpose of having dreams, you can find your answers on Quora. The question and answer service lets users post questions about any topic imaginable and receive responses from real-world experts within a matter of minutes. For people who would rather read about their favorite topics than write about them, the service also allows users to “follow” certain subjects to see instantly whenever new questions have been asked or conversations have been updated.
When you sign up with Quora, you can create a new profile or instantly link up with your preexisting Facebook or Twitter account. The application will then let you “follow” any number of preset topics, such as Food, Startups, Sports, or Travel. If you don’t see a topic that looks interesting enough on the main page, then just type in a subject that seems fun to you and start following that. Once you’ve signed up to follow certain topics, you’ll be presented with a page full of questions that are tailored to meet your interests. When you come across a question that seems intriguing, click on it to see all the responses that question has gotten so far. The answers that users have submitted are ranked based on the number of “votes” each answer has received, with the best answers showing up at the top of the page. You can leave comments underneath any answer, and vote whether the answer was helpful or not. You can also click on any author’s avatar to find out more about the person who’s opinions you’re reading and follow that user directly to receive notices whenever he or she has added new content.
If you have got something of your own to add to the site, just click “Add Question” at the top of any page and start typing away. You can answer other people’s questions by going to the bottom of the question page, or you can mark the page as “Answer Later” and add in your response when you have more free time. Any answer you give can be left anonymously if you wish to remain private, or you can choose to monitor particularly interesting questions to find out when new answers have been added. Thanks to its high caliber of expert users, you can get thoughtful responses to questions about nearly any topic under the sun when you use Quora.
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