Q&A as conversation

Marty (co-founder) and I were working on the Lilipip Brand Concept Template graciously provided at by Ksenia on her site for free. It’s designed to help you zero in on your marketing message for a 1 minute video.

I’ve been through that routine before, but this was a really good document and approach. No BS. A good balance between fact/emotional message. Very well done. We learned a lot from doing it, but one simple question at the outset was “what is your name and what is your history”.

We’ve been through a lot of product iterations for such a young company. Our original goal was broadly to improve the quality of discussion on the web. Web based discussions are too often unnavigable and nightmarish. Comments on blogs helped because they provided at least some structure for the topic and discussion. But it has limited breadth of application.

After going through many gyrations that went from debate-style structures to interviewing we realized that the ideal structure was questions and answers. Why? Because the best conversations are typically those that have good questions and because a question-followed-by-an-answer is a great unit of discussion. People can’t just post away willy-nilly, they only get one answer. So the noise ratio goes way down and many voice are heard.

But what about the meta-communication that adds that certain richness and back-and-forth to the conversation? Well we handle that by making them comments and meta to the heart of the discussion. We didn’t know how it would all shake out and whether people would get it – but happily they did.

The result has been structured, discoverable discussions where the best questions and answers can be surfaced while still allowing for self-expression.


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