Aardvark is a social search which discovers the perfect person to answer any question in minutes. Aardvark is a new kind of tool that lets you tap into the knowledge and experience of friends and friends-of-friends. Aardvark launched a private beta in March, 2009 and took over by Google in February 2010.
Just send Aardvark a question in plain English, like you would to a friend. You will get a personal response in about 5 minutes from someone in your network. Each question receives an average of two answers. Aardvark automatically stops looking for people to answer to your question at that point.
You can use Aardvark on the web at www.vark.com, and through your existing communication channels: IM programs (like Gmail Chat, AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, and MSN Messenger), Twitter, iPhone, and any email program.
your questions and answers are private by default, unless you choose to share them with your friends. Your questions and answers will show up in search results from Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search results if you choose to share them publicly.
Syncing your accounts (via Facebook Connect) allows Aardvark to connect you with friends and friends-of-friends when you ask and answer questions.[advt]
You may use Aardvard for getting recommendations from friends, research help, advice and second opinions, and tips and discoveries.
Aardvard is useful when you need a quick answer, but don’t want to search through a bunch of web pages, or when you want information but don’t know who to ask or where to start. You can try Aardvard when you don’t have time for a long conversation with someone, or when you want someone who knows what they’re talking about.
Getting Started in Aardvark
1. Enabling Aardvark in IM.
- Add an IM address
- Add an IM address to your profile now!
- Aardvark works on:
- MSN Messenger and Windows Live Messenger
- Yahoo! Messenger & Yahoo! Mail Chat
- Google Talk & Gmail Chat
- Adium, Trillian, Meebo, etc.
Once you’re set up to send Aardvark messages via IM, just send in any question in plain English, like you would to a friend. Aardvark will find an answer within a few minutes.
2. You can also ask a question right on the aardvark website, via email ([email protected]), or via Twitter.
Most questions are answered within 5 minutes, and the vast majority are answered within 10 minutes. The speed of the answer depends upon the subject of your question, and the number of people in your network who are online. Questions that have more detail and questions with extra tags usually get answered faster.
To protect against spam and abuse, Aardvark users are limited to a certain number of questions per day. New users can only ask 7 questions in a 24 hour period. That limit gradually increases to 15 questions per day as you use Aardvark.
Aardvark users generally ask about the following sorts of things, so you may want to think about these when you add topics to your profile:
- Activities – your favorite sports, projects, clubs, classes
- Interests – hobbies, home and garden, health issues, sciences, news you follow
- Places – neighborhoods where you’ve lived, cities where you’ve traveled
- Local tips – specific shops, restaurants, attractions
- Products – favorite gadgets, clothing, video games, recent purchases
- Disciplines and Skills – academic disciplines, professional expertise, special talents
- Organizations – schools you’ve attended, companies you’ve worked at
- Communities – religious, political, lifestyle, support groups
You can help Aardvark find the right person to answer any question by providing a tag. A tag is a word or phrase that describes what the question is about. To tag a question, just type tag: followed by a word or phrase (like tag: soccer). You can type tag: right after you’ve asked a question of your own, or when Aardvark sends you someone else’s question to answer.
You can add multipile tags too in Aardvark. For that just use the tag: command followed by a list of tags, separated by commas (e.g. tag: restaurants, relationships).
You can also enter the tags as separate messages (e.g. tag: restaurants, then a new message with tag: relationships, then a new message withtag: Brooklyn). Aardvark will look at all of the tags and use them to figure out the best person to answer the question.
How to prevent Spam in Aardvark?
If a question or answer is obscene, spammy, or otherwise objectionable, just type flag in IM or send the word “flag” over email. The Aardvark support team will follow up with the user.