Question and Answer services (popularly known as Q & A) are platforms (typically online) where people can ask questions and other users can answer. These platforms are often available as websites and apps. If you want to know something, you can just post it in a Q & A website or app and may get personalized information.
Why do people answer questions in Q & A services? For passion - their desire to assist you by sharing what they know, to gain credibility or to establish themselves as an authoritative voice in their niche.
Gaining credibility is the reason why you should start answering questions related to your industry. It should display your skills. Employers are scanning Q & A platforms to hire experts. By solving other’s confusions you are proving your skills and deep understandings of the subject.
This does not mean that answering any type of question will help in your career. For example - if your dream is to become a marketer, answering “How to cook Pasta?” - has nothing to add in your marketing career. Instead, answering questions like “How to decide between lead generation and brand awareness as the campaign goal?” or “How to use Rs. 100K to increase website traffic?” - may help. Your answer should showcase that you possess the skills your dream job requires.
Quite a number of Q & A platform are there - Quora and Stack Exchange are among the top.
Based at Mountain View, California, Quora Inc. (the company behind Quora) was founded by Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever in 2009. It is currently with more than 300 million users. People can ask questions related to any topic and can get answers. Users can Upvote or Downvote the answers. Use the search box and keywords to find questions related to your industry or job function. For example - if you are looking to grow your career as a web content writer, you can use keywords like “content writing tips” or “SEO content writing” etc. to find related questions.
Once you start interacting, Quora will start displaying contents relevant to your interest. You will also get requests for answers from other Quora users.
Co-founded by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky, Stack Exchange includes a collection of different websites focused around different topics like Programming, Mathematics, Chemistry and Ask Ubuntu. By answering questions on the sites, users can gain reputation points, unlock badges to gain credibility.
Stack Exchange’s top site is Stack Overflow. It can be accessed at https://stackoverflow.com/ and with numerous programming related questions and answers, it’s the go-to community for programmers to clear their confusions. With millions of registered users, Stack Overflow has proved itself as the trusted knowledge source for programmers.
Stack Overflow also features jobs for developers. Employers post programming jobs and search developer profiles. If you are looking for a programming job, building a great reputation on Stack Overflow works.
Gaining credibility in Q & A platforms is time comsuming. But if you are serious about your career, you should definitely try. Besides building credibility or displaying your skills, being an active member on Q & A platforms will help you in enhancing your writing skills. Moreover, these platforms are often referred to as knowledge market and being active there is an excellent way to enhance your knowledge.