Remember That Heavily Hyped Q&A Startup? Wait, What Was It Called Again?

Dumenco's Trendrr Chart of the Week

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Q: Why is this article about Q&A site Quora illustrated with an old movie poster? A: Is that a rhetorical question?
Q: Why is this article about Q&A site Quora illustrated with an old movie poster? A: Is that a rhetorical question?
On Monday, my colleague Rupal Parekh published a terrific piece titled "The Seven Stages of Committing a Social-Media Sin," in which she examined the aftermath of the Kenneth Cole #Cairo tweet controversy. "Each time a brand experiences a social-media blunder," she wrote, "the event blows up and moves through the seven stages" -- as listed in her piece -- "faster and faster before the whole thing vanishes in a puff of smoke." The bad-buzz cycle is shrinking in part because we're all deeply distracted and always ready to move onto the next meme.

But what about the positive-buzz cycle? You may vaguely recall that about a month ago -- a zillion years ago in Twitter Time -- everyone suddenly seemed to be talking about the prospects of Quora, a Q&A site with a trendy social-media component that's made it catnip to the Silicon Valley nerd set and the VCs who love them. It launched in private beta in December 2009 and over the past year attracted some high-profile fans, including tech blogger Robert "Scobleizer" Scoble, who praised it in December -- and then suddenly reconsidered, trashing it in late January.

Trendrr chart

Recent daily volume of tweets mentioning Quora

I thought I'd take a look at Twitter buzz surrounding Quarry -- er, Quoro -- uh, Queerie -- wait, what was its name again? Anyway, the data herewith has been gathered, as always, with the help of our editorial partner Trendrr, the social-media monitoring service. Some notes:

  • Quora hit a one-day peak Jan. 6 of 10,429 mentions on Twitter as the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was kicking off. Interest among the Twitterati has been generally trending downward since then, and lately Quora hasn't even been hitting the 5,000 mark in daily tweet volume.
  • Trendrr estimates that 73% of tweets about Quora since late December have come from guys. This is an an actual question posted on Quora: "What's the best way to successfully flirt with a girl on Quora who is single?" Among the various answers offered, one begins -- I swear to God -- "Caveat: I have not scored a single date on Quora ever, so this is a theoretical method. However, I'll bet it would work ..."
  • Gender breakdown of people tweeting about Quora
    Gender breakdown of people tweeting about Quora

  • The top five markets for recent Twitter mentions of Quora: London, San Francisco, Toronto, Los Angeles and Seattle.
  • In the past week, 32% of all tweets about Quora have emanated from one state. Yep, you guessed it: California. And the lion's share of those California tweets are coming from towns in the Silicon Valley area.
  • Hey, I'm hungry for some half-price Tibetan food. Does anyone know where I can get some?

Dumenco's Trendrr Chart of the Week is produced in collaboration with Wiredset, the New York digital agency behind Trendrr.

Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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