Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Quora - an online meeting place for sex, Q & A, and a bit of laughter

I have gradually become more active following the fun Question and Answer community that has grown over the past year at Quora.com. This community reminds me of the best magazine stands; it's a place to casually browse the latest fashions. I'm not necessarily shopping for skinny jeans or wondering how to do my hair; fashion also applies to the expression of ideas. If you want to follow the fashions through a number of intelligent and low-brow topics in real-time, no other place I know beats Quora.

To my pleasant surprise topics of quality living are very well represented on Quora. Business, food, relationships, and health are some of the most active topics on the site. Most contributors aim to present their answers without a lot of lingo so the answers are very approachable to the broad cross-section gathered on the site. Most answers are organized thoughtfully and are rationally disciplined, but some will get as silly as a Groupon write-up.

Some very simply stated questions inspire great stories or numerous threads.

Discussions are generally friendly and respectful, but can at times be heated. In either case, more often than not, one of the contributors will offer a very light-hearted spin to knock us off balance or bring us back down to earth. It's always good to mix in a fearless jester. In short, on Quora, a dinner party experience is virtually modeled. No need to endure the fussiness of a designated host or the calories of the carrot cake.

My interest in the community and topics on Quora will likely grow, especially if it continues to thrive as something of an online dating site. I'm sure whatever it grows to be it will add to my enthusiasm to don a cape as your Gero Hero. I'm a people pleaser at heart, if you respond in some way that let's me know you are reading, I'll spend every waking hour writing. Don't be bashful now, I've never been good at keeping diaries alive.

At the very least reviving my curiosity for gerontology topics may keep my investigations on Quora focused. It's very easy for someone who likes to laugh to simply turn the dial to the comedy channel. That is not always a bad thing as comedians are often the most astute purveyors of truth we have. But, now it's time to get serious. Some say there is a 50% chance that within fifty years we will have achieved control over processes related to cell death. That's pretty good, in my opinion, and is a long term investment I would consider worthwhile. I better start learning more.

So that I don't forget the blog is here again, I have designed it as a learning dashboard with some favorite things I read scrolling along the bottom and have piped in health related news I can scan on the right.

You may question why I thought my time was worth writing. There is a distinctly powerful part of my personality that wants to be heard and to influence. I guess that's the primary driver. Mark Suster calls that an expressive personality in this fine article on how to customize presentations to those who may give you money. However, I've known that for some time; I'm today focusing my effort around this blog because I know my learning is best consolidated through the activity of writing. At the end of the year, I like to plan how I'm going to be more productive in the next. This dashboard of learning might help.

I need a homepage that is not connected to tumblr or facebook. I, like anyone else, wants to sit on the porch and chew these more leisured marshmallows and I must say I've been seeing the clock way past midnight more often. That's when I have chased a dozen bundles of links from twitter or simply jumped around from browser tab to tab. I need to stop that.

I've included an orange RSS button in the upper right so that you can choose to read my words in your favored aggregator. And there's a facebook 'like' button too.  See you back when I find something worth sharing.