India drives ~25% of traffic to Quora. In fact, if you believe Alexa, Quora’s traffic rank in India stands at 185.
So why are Indians so active in Quora? What drives Indians to use the QnA service, which is dominated heavily by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs?
First of all, let’s take a quick look at Quora and its strength. Quora’s biggest strength lies in the rolodex of people you get to meet at Quora – right from Youtube founders to all the prominent names of Silicon Valley.
But more than the rolodex, Quora’s platform approach has driven a lot of Indian entrepreneurs to get hyperactive on the site:
1. Initial days: In the initial days, Quora engagement was driven by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs – they were the queen honey bees that attracted a lot of Indian entrepreneurs to get active on the QnA service. If you look at it, there hardly was any great product centric forum for Indian entrepreneurs to learn from Silicon Valley counterparts (communities like Pluggd.in forum has mostly been about Indian entrepreneurs connecting to each other).
Quora provided the right Silicon Valley connection for Indian entrepreneurs, who are anyways in awe of their Silicon Valley counterparts.
2. The need to get recognized (Maslow anyone?)
Indians have a hidden need to get recognized for their knowledge. Apart from giving credibility, it also enhances one’s *social status*.
Imagine connecting to Marc Andressen and discussing a topic with him!
A lot of Indian investors/tech gurus have resorted to Quora to share their knowledge/insights. Given the neutral nature of Quora (it’s a platform and not a media brand), these professionals found it better to invest their energy in Quora instead of starting their own blog.
3. The need to create personal branding
The truth is that Indians love to create their own brand. Take a look around you – very few individuals cooperate and everybody is in a race to create their own thing. The fight always has been to create their own brand, own stuff and Quora has served the need right. Every guru has his/her own board and has become a more or less blogging platform for them to share their ‘insights’.
While Indians embraced Facebook and Twitter at a phenomenal rate, Quora is directly related to ‘knowledge’ – i.e. much higher in the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and resonates well with Indian’s need to get recognized for their knowledge.
Remember, Quora is driven by heavyweights and site’s gaming mechanics ensures that everybody is striving to be one (I won’t be surprised when US colleges will start accepting one’s Quora score as part of MS application :D)
4. The platform.
This is an opportunity lost (?) for all Indian companies. Right from Indiatimes to Rediff to Yahoo to Pluggd.in – Indians always needed a great platform (that sucked lesser than Y! Answers) to share their knowledge about diverse content (remember, we have an opinion/knowledge about everything) and Quora just provided the right use-case.
Infact, Quora’s biggest strength lies in the fact that it has managed to go beyond the startup space (at least in India) and has people answering questions related to Mahabharata to India-Pakistan currency, which have always been a topic of wider interest.
And of course, integration with Twitter and Facebook has obviously added to the overall discovery, as Indians are quite a heavy users of these social networks.
What are your thoughts on growing adoption of Quora in India?