Use InboxQ to Ask a Question on Twitter – and Get an Answer

October 1, 2011

2:00 pm

One of the things that I both love and hate about Twitter is the massive amount of information constantly streaming through my feed.  I love it, because there is always something new; I hate it, because there are too many new things.  And therein lies the problem: no matter how many interesting, knowledgeable people you follow, how can you tap into their knowledge?

San Francisco-based startup InboxQ can help.  You can not only ask questions of people on Twitter who might actually know the answer, but you can also get a real-time stream of questions related to your business, products, industry or general interests from Twitter right in Chrome and Firefox.

I signed up, which basically means you verify your Twitter handle, and I tweeted one question each to strangers.  Asking questions of strangers felt kinda weird, even if it is Twitter.  You can type in a keyword or topic, and you’ll get a whole list of people on Twitter who could possibly answer.   You can also search through popular topics right from their home page.

Because I didn’t feel comforable just tweeting people out of the blue, I introduced myself really briefly before asking a programmer at a tech company in Chicago if he had any recommendations for good coffee shops, and the founder of a startup in San Francisco if he knew of any good breakfast spots in the city.  I got an answer no a good breakfast spot when I’m in San Francisco in December; still waiting on an answer regarding Chicago.  Obviously, if you need an answer quickly, you are out of luck and might as well try Quora or Facebook.

My initial reaction is positive in terms of ease-of-use, but I think the InboxQ team should start out the tweet by saying it’s coming via InboxQ – right now, that information is added at the end of the tweet.  Try it out for yourself and see what you think – and don’t forget to leave a comment below!

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Monika Jansen is a writer and editor who is happiest pounding out blog posts, newsletters, website content, and other materials. Follow her at: @monikacjansen

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