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Beyond Q&A: The Many Uses of Quora

Quora

Have a question? The folks on Quora likely have an answer. The online Q&A platform gets user queries answered by experts for free. But it's become more than an info-seeking site for entrepreneurs, marketers and even investors:

I use Quora to do research on what hot-topic issues are percolating and to follow tech journalists to keep up on the kinds of stories they're writing. It helps me answer reporters' questions and get my clients in front of them in a different way.
--Heather Whaling, Geben Communication, Columbus, Ohio

My firm invests in early stage software companies. We mentor first-time CEOs/founders, including through Quora. I primarily spend my time on Quora in startup-related sections. Wherever I think I have a strong point of view, I answer, giving information and insights that showcase our expertise. It helps us attract better prospects for investment.
--Firas Raouf, OpenView Venture Partners, Boston

We're an online lifestyle publication for MBAs. Recently I posted a question related to one of our pieces. Then I posted an answer--an abridged version of the article. People started adding their posts, then clicking through to our site. We saw a definite uptick in traffic. 
--Jenn Yee, MBAsocial, Chicago

My firm connects small-business owners with independent consultants. By answering questions on Quora, I've found prospective partners with expertise for future projects.
--Kyle Hawke,Whinot, Charlottesville, Va.

--as told to Gwen Moran

Gwen Moran is a freelance writer and co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Plans (Alpha, 2010).

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This article was originally published in the September 2011 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Beyond Q&A.

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