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Q&A site Quora debuts 'lightweight blog' platform

The crowd-sourced ask-a-question, get-an-answer site announces a new bookmarking product called Boards.

Crowdsourced ask-a-question, get-an-answer site Quora announced a new bookmarking product today called Boards.

In a post on Quora's site, co-founder Adam D'Angelo calls a board created using the new product "a lighter-weight version of a blog," and says Boards lets users "write new posts...repost questions, answers, topics, or anything else that already exists on Quora, and...also post a link to any page from the Web."

Users can create as many boards as they desire--focusing each on a particular topic--and set them up as public or private. (Other Boards users can choose to follow public boards so as to be notified of updates, and people can add their existing Quora followers to specific boards they've created, based on a given follower's interests.)

"As a contributor," D'Angelo writes, "boards give you a context so you can focus your posts for the specific people who are interested in them. As a reader, boards let you control what you see in your feed with more granularity. You can follow boards in addition or instead of following people, letting you focus in on just what someone thinks about a specific subject, their profession, or one of their hobbies."

"You can use them for organization, to make lists of things, as mailing lists, or anything else you want," D'Angelo writes.

The announcement includes a short list of boards as examples:

Earlier this year, Facebook souped up its own Q&A product, Facebook Questions (which some saw as a Quora killer), by knitting it more tightly into Facebook--allowing for short, poll-like answers in addition to longer responses, and also enabling links directly to relevant items in Facebook's directory of "fan pages"--something of possible use if a user is asking a question about, for example, movie recommendations or a good restaurant to visit.