Questions: When Facebook fails

If Facebook Questions should have been a useful utility, what does its repositioning indicate about Facebook’s focus on general-purpose search?

Today in Social

Google announced it was shutting down a few more projects/products, including its Q&A service Aardvark, its Desktop search application and Fast Flip news browser that it used to mollify content companies by highlighting stories from a single source. Q&A isn’t a strong path to social search, and its team will reportedly move over to Google+. I always thought desktop search might be a Trojan Horse from Google into Windows’ desktop UI dominance, but it seems that, like Fast Flip, it just never got enough user traction. TechCrunch says Google is still months away from rolling out APIs for Google+. That’s disappointing to some. I wonder if Google will synchronize its eventual Pages strategy announcement with APIs – that would make social marketing sense. It would also make sense to think about Zave Networks couponing as another piece of its collection of local marketing products that includes social commerce daily deals.

Today in Social

Om has great post on what it takes to make a consumer Internet hit. It’s very wise in its simplicity: large-scale success comes from 1) a clear purpose, 2) a simple interface and 3) being fun to use. He wonders if Quora will will grasp the takeaways. Rival Q&A site Answers.com just sold for $127 million – it’s way bigger than Quora and presents answers by topic as well as search – that makes it somewhat simpler to use. Twitter is incredibly easy to use, but becomes more powerful with filtering – whether that’s through lists or Tweetdeck. Apple and others have always sweated the UI details on the difference between easy to learn and easy to use (effectively). That’s something Quora and Twitter need to work on.

Is Quora Worth the Hype?

Q&A site Quora is lately being called the savior of search and the next Facebook. But is Quora worth all the fuss? But the company is far from alone in the Q&A space, and so the question arises, is Quora really worth all its hype?

Is Quora Worth the Hype?

Around the end of the year, the hype surrounding Quora kicked into overdrive. The Q&A site founded by ex-Facebook talent first raised eyebrows with round of financing last March that valued it at $86 million. When it went into public beta last summer, the tech and business press got excited, but lately it’s being called the savior of search and the next Facebook. Is Quora worth all the fuss?