Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quora, Tunerfish, Hunch, and their obvious differences

As a part of my Personal Learning Project I investigated 3 newer social media websites. Each of these sites (Quora, Tunerfish, Hunch) were anticipated to be among the new trendy social media sites in 2011. After creating accounts on each site and monitoring conversations about each via Twitter I have noticed many strengths and weaknesses for each.

Without a doubt Quora has been the most useful of all three sites. It has the most active community, the most links on Twitter, and the most potential to do big things in the social media community. Quora is a question and answer websites, that unlike competitors, maintains a professional attitude. It was created by two former Facebook employees that are making major names for themselves in the social media community. Quora is also actively used by some other top names in social media such as Facebook's Dustin Moskovitz. It is very simple to get started in the Quora conversation by looking up what you are interested in. Because Quora is still building its community, some specific questions are not on the site. However, submitting your question is very simple. After submitting a question I received a response about a week later. The more users Quora attracts the shorter this turn around time will become.

One complaint I have about Quora is the feature that creates personal communication among users. It is simply unnecessary. I follow 14 people and 0 people follow me back. The people I follow do not contribute to my Quora experience, and my lack of followers do not hinder my Quora experience at all. From what I've gathered it doesn't seem to play a large roll in anyone's interaction with the site. For all intents and purposes, the ability to follow specific questions seems to suffice.

Tunerfish was my least favorite among these three sites. It is just useless. Like Twitter your home page is centered around a question that needs answering. In this case the question is "What are you watching?". After answering the question, then what? Depending on who you follow you might receive good recommendations of television shows. This is where I developed issues. I follow 13 people. When I began following certain people it was based on people with similar taste in television. These people were recommended to me via Tunerfish. The problem with this is, if I want to discover new television, how would I do that if the only people I interact with watch the same shows as me? Tunerfish would benefit by developing a suggestions aspect of the site, similarly to Netflix. Without that feature the site is pretty much useless. Once the initial question is answered, I have no reason to stay on the site longer than that. In my opinion, Tunerfish would be more successful as just an app and not a website attempting to do more than it actually does.

I love Hunch, the only problem is, I don't have time for it. Hunch is a brilliant website that recommends all sorts of things based on your responses to simple questions as well as your rankings of recommendations. The website gets to know you the more you use it and becomes more beneficial the longer you have your account. But unfortunately not a lot of us have time to just waste time on the internet. Hunch is the type of website you would play with on a lazy Sunday morning, or in between flights at an airport. You can so easily get lost clicking from recommendation to recommendation. Which means the website is fun and addicting, but few of us have time for another internet addiction. I could see Hunch being attractive to younger people, perhaps high school aged. These people have more time on their hands and could perhaps benefit from discovering new interests.

Since using Hunch the site has changed a bit. The most recent time I logged in, Hunch recommended that I begin following specific people with similar interests as me. Since doing so, my account has become more about giving other users suggestions, and less about receiving suggestions. I like this because I am still able to discover new products, while simultaneously becoming a more interactive user. I think this is a step in the right direction for the site.

Quora definitely came out on top among these sites. I firmly believe that we will be hearing a lot more about Quora in the near future. I can see it becoming comparable to major social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Linkedin. As for the other two I do not see as bright of a future. Hunch, more so than Tunerfish, has an addicting and fun foundation, I'm just concerned about another hour-killing website out there to distract me. Tunerfish needs to add more useful features if they want to be recognized as a major social media site. As they are now, Tunerfish won't be around long enough to make a splash in this seemingly endless sea of social media.



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