You all know that I pride myself on trying to be helpful to people. I make time to answer questions, solve tech problems, offer insight without a thought of charging money for my sage wisdom. To be honest, I genuinely like being helpful. Given this predilection, I see the immediate attraction of Hunch and Quora. A couple sites built on the idea that people will help answer questions that other people have. Basically sites built on whuffie.
The problem as I see it is that although both these sites might be great at generating whuffie, whuffie isn’t really a current currency. As I browsed around and looking at questions, I had to wonder: Wait, if I answer this question here how is this going to really help me? Note it wasn’t “if I answer this question” but “if I answer this question here“. Sure these sites are pretty new and shiny (I know Hunch isn’t all that new), but here is another social network where I cultivate a following and build up credibility, credibility that I already have here and other places, that diverts people away from this place—the digital home that is supposed to be my hub online.
We all have finite amounts of time and energy to spend on “stuff”. As I’m trying out these sites I have to ask myself, as I’m trying out these sties, are they going to help me. Maybe they are fun (I think they are actually), which is good. Fun relieves stress. Maybe I’ll connect with folks. Of course most of the folks I’m connecting with at both sites are people I already know from other networks.
The essential problem, and why I think both of these sites have a long, hard row to hoe to become successful, is that we are all pressed for time and having yet another social media site to tend and curate isn’t helping. Facebook, Twitter, both of these needed a few years to build up momentum. I don’t think that either Hunch or Quora have that kind of time.
However, I’m willing to be proved wrong.