On Quora, there are always those few people whose answers are presumably going to get 1k upvotes above.
These answers, are quite reoccurring in past few years, as Quora tended to have much more detailed and thought-provoking answers.
The popular answers consist of several fundamental elements to make them popular–relevance, wittiness, storytelling and plot twists.
All of these things just resonate the principles written in Talk Like TED, a book I just finished recently.
However, in comparison to a public speaking challenge, due to the trending characteristic of social media, being popular means being relevant. The more relevant you are to the world, or general public, the more you are going to resonate with everybody’s mind.
Wittiness is a peculiar thing, a double-edged sword. As how humor may decorate your speech, wittiness also in ways pokes people’s hearts. Using humor, is a sharp weapon to highlight your point, but, the immense amount of humor in a post/answer not only not going to deliver a point, but to downgrade the entire post to a mere joke, that everybody just laughs to. There’s no educational purpose behind this, only the answerer seeks more attention and the audience being entertained.
I surely don’t want this, to be the landscape of future Quora. It’s cool, to tell jokes, but it’s not cool, to merely write jokes instead of answers.
Tell a story, everybody loves to hear a story, and a well written one. To tell a story, one story definitely needs to have its characters: To generalize, a story usually has a hero, and a villain. Who’s going to play the villain part? And who’s the hero, is up to you to decide.
Second, how characters interact with each other. A hero fights a villain, and a hero saves some innocents. Is the hero going to start a romantic relationship with one of his saved victims? Or is the villain going to murder one of his victims to shock the audience?
Twists, almost every interesting story consists of at least one plot twist. Why? It’s unexpectedness. We humans love surprise. So a twist not only can emphasize your point, but also helps deliver a strong and believable story.
Plus, promotion is also important for popular writers. As one writer has gathered enough followers, he thus can amass attention however he writes.