Living in a time and age with a plethora of available information at any moment and any time is something great. Today we rely on Google to help us find information. Google’s mission: “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. More frequently, we use voice search to help us; think of Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft Cortana. There is so much info created on a daily basis, that we have a strong need to organise and categorise it all, and we operate on a need-to-know basis. We trust assistants and search engines to help us, right?
Ask A Question Or Do You Want A Solution?
Asking a question to get information usually results in Google providing an answer by producing an absurd amount of links to external sites. We trust Google so fully, that most people don’t even look beyond the first page and hope for the best. Google tries more and more to piece information together and answers it on the Search Results Page (SERP) directly.
Try it yourself, if you ask in Google: “what is the weather today?”, you will get a weather result directly without going to an external page. This is Google utilising info and making it more useful for you, the user. If you ask the same question to a voice assistant, they have a source to access the weather info and will voice it out to you. When diving deeper in what Google actually provides, it is organised and useful information which is matched to a user question.
Are you looking for help in solving a problem? I would suggest another platform than Google. Have a look at the knowledge site Quora.com. Their mission is: “share and grow the world’s knowledge.” An example, if I want help with this problem: I am living in Singapore. I am running my first 10 k at 10 pm. What food is the best to eat and at what times on the day of the run? This is question has multiple parts which is not as easy for Google to answer.
I have typed in that specific question in Google and get various sources; in the image below you see my highlighted question in Quora as well.
Blogs about what to eat for breakfast and then run 10k. Or what to eat the night before a 10k run. Some sources were from Europe and some from USA. Since I asked specifically for Singapore, which has a different climate, it was not of much use. Then I realised I could ask the question on Quora as well. For a while I have been answering other people’s questions, why not utilise the collected knowledge gathered there? You can see how a few subject matter experts answered my question and helped me solve my problem. You can compare what Google crunched out and what humans answered to me.
Solving Your Problem With Knowledge
On Quora you can see who is answering your questions, what they do (professionally and privately), what opinions they have and also how they have helped others in the past. Google is anonymously giving you a set of links which sometimes have reviews of other people. That in itself does not give much validation to solve more complex problems.
When you ask a question on Quora, it detects if the question is a duplicate one and also allows you to categorise it. In addition to that, Quora suggests asking knowledgeable people on that topic, who in the past have answered questions favourably. In this case you will be asking the questions to be solved by the right person. Then it is a matter of waiting a bit to see some answers kick in. Why would these people and myself share knowledge for free? First of all, it feels great to help someone. Secondly every question answered establishes you more as a subject expert. It works similar as to LinkedIn users helping other users in order to boost their credibility on a subject. Quora is indexed by Google, so it is good for your personal and professional branding as well.
If you want straight facts and information, Google is the best place to find it. If you really want to solve a problem that is more than just facts, getting knowledge and experience or points of view from experts, I suggest you try the Quora platform. Since we are all becoming prosumers, you can help others out by answering their questions. Every single human has knowledge and experience that is not easily accessible. To sum up: share, help others and help getting knowledge documented.