A New Place For Q & A…Exploring Quora

I’m sure you’ve heard about the website, Quora, which has recently made it’s way into the news and online media. Being THE hot, new buzzed about online tool, I’ve decided to check it out! It’s recently exploded among the social media junkies, reporters, industry pros and the tech savy crowd  as, according to their website, a “continually improving collection of questions and answers.” It was founded in April 2009 by Adam D’Angelo, who was previously CTO and VP of engineering at Facebook, and Charlie Cheever, who led Facebook Connect and Facebook Platform.

blog picture for quora

  • Quora is a website where you can ask questions and receive an answer back from community members, kind of like Yahoo Answers. But, here’s what makes it better. Quora is much more than someone asking “Q) I have ate two whole tangerines in about two hours what will happen to me?” and some one coming back with a sarcastic response like A) “That all depends on whether you swallowed any seeds. If you did, be very careful not to eat any dirt or drink any water for the next two weeks.” And yes that was a real question and answer…don’t ask how I came across that one.  Anyways, like I was saying, Quora does more then just asking a question and getting a slew of ridiculous responses back. It’s a database of knowledge created by people, for people with an additional opportunity for anyone to collaborate and start a discussion and gives users a chance to offer their expertise and opinion while striving for consensus.
  • It provides a platform for social and interest-driven real time content: Quora allows you to follow other community members with similar interests as you and ask them questions directly. Also, your homepage provides a feed that shows you new topics you or those you are following may be interested in.  As soon as I created my account it gave me the option to connect through Facebook and Twitter so I instantly had several people, and topics to follow right away, making it’s interface more like that of a social network.
  • Quora posts your name to your answer: This is another reason why there is so much press around the site right now. High profile people who have extensive knowledge about a topic are contributing their knowledge and opinions to questions. It makes the content more trustworthy then Yahoo Answers or Wikipedia for example.

I’m still in the test run phase of Quora, but I’ve managed to set up an account, follow a few interesting people ad topics and even voted on some good answers. I have yet to ask a question, but when I do, I’m anxious to see the responses I get. It’s definitely a website worth checking out. I think you’ll be surprised at what you can find on there. For now you can follow me here on Quora.


A Resolution Worth Keeping…

Ok so here’s my sob story…I work 5 days a week, 9 hours a day and then by the time I get home I’m too lazy to blog and my evening usually consists of eating, watching some lame reality tv show and passing out with my dog …NO MORE.

This year, 2011, things are going to change. Basically I need to get a life. One of my resolutions for the new year, and beyond, is to blog more. Yea, I keep up on industry news and stuff, but I need to start writing about it and learning and networking with other bloggers. If I want to someday build a career in my dream job (something social media or advertising) I need to start making moves here so I’m one step ahead of that other new college grad out there trying to get that same job as me that I was so so so bad!

My motivation for this came from the WordPress challenge to “Post Something Every Day.” So maybe it won’t be everyday for me, but how about a few times a week or even once a week? I think I can do that…I can still blog while I’m watching Jersey Shore…right?

WordPress even has this blog called the Daily Post which gives me daily tidbits of inspiration and blogging advice to get me going.

Here I go…this is me participating in the Post a Week 2011 WordPress challenge.

New year, new opportunities. Cheers to a great 2011. I wonder what’s in store for me this year?!


Above & Beyond with Guerrilla Marketing

Today I came across an article highlighting Microsoft’s recent guerrilla marketing campaigns, which got me thinking. Besides a short guerrilla marketing campaign I wrote in a Michigan State Junior year copy writing class, I really don’t know much about guerrilla marketing. What makes it good? What makes it bad? Is it really effective? How are advertisers using this technique to promote their brand? And a few more questions came to mind. So of course I pulled up the ever so trusty Google and got to work looking into this off the wall, creative form of advertising.

So what is guerrilla marketing? And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with the furry jungle giant here…

gurilla face

In a nut shell, guerrilla marketing is using unconventional and aggressive tactics to yield maximum results from minimal resources. With today’s strong social media presence as a powerful measuring tool and the decline of traditional forms of advertising, huge opportunities have opened up for guerrilla marketing as it is starting to pop up in the advertising mainstream. Today’s most successful guerrilla campaigns come in the form of viral, out of the ordinary billboards, over the top product promotions, marketers are even taking guerrilla tactics to bus stops. The possibilities are endless…it just depends on how far the advertiser is willing to push the limits for maximal creativity.

Mini Cooper Guerilla Airport Campaign coopswallsmall

But like every advertising effort, there’s the good and the bad

The Good: Guerrilla marketing is authentic, relevant, creative, attention grabbing, and strategic. Guerrilla marketing creates instant buzz, and whether it be good or bad, it still gets people talking about the brand and with today’s strong social media presence people will be doing more than just talking.  People will be tweeting, facebooking, snapping photos, telling their friends about the awesome ad they saw while running errands. Although guerrilla marketing can’t be measured like traditional marketing, it can be measured through social media. All social media conversation about the brand can be easily tracked in real time, making ROI easily measurable, and networking for the brand highly successful.

Guerrilla marketing can also be cheap. A good campaign can strategically, and successfully be carried out with a budget of even a few hundred dollars, and on the viral end it’s free! Doesn’t get much better then free advertising! Guerrilla advertising is also great for small businesses, in fact in was initially developed for just that. It can be tailored to meet specific needs, whereas traditional advertising can get complicated and expensive to achieve exactly what the brand wants. Finally, guerrilla marketing is, in my opinion, the most creative form of advertising. Like I said earlier, the possibilities are endless.

The Bad (dun dun dunnnn…) Guerrilla techniques, like any form of advertising, can be perceived negatively. Something over the top may not be easily accepted by consumers, or worse case scenario legal action could be taken against the campaign. Keeping that in mind, its important to check city laws before carrying out the campaign. Yes, guerrilla marketing can be inexpensive for small businesses, but if you really want to out-do your competition it could require a pretty big budget and the willingness to dedicate time and energy. Another disadvantage to this technique is that unlike online advertising, for example, where you can measure the effectiveness of the ad based of CPP and other measurements, you won’t see the success or failure of your guerrilla campaign overnight…it requires time, and lots of it!

If you want an ad that takes creativity to the extreme and aren’t afraid of pushing your brand’s limits then guerrilla marketing is a technique to consider squeezing into your advertising budget…like i said above, you can spend as little or as much as you want it just depends on how far you’re willing to push the ad.  You’ll receive maximum exposure for your brand, create instant buzz, and get people talking about the awesome ad they just saw. Guerrilla marketing is making its way to the forefront of streamline advertising and for that reason it’s worth tapping into.