Hi, please

Your personal 24/7 hotline at fingertips!?

Last week it took me way too much time to turn me off on Buzz -at least for a service that I did not ask for! As many of you, I have been a little mad at Google these days and started partcicularly focus my attention on them… and lead me there.

For my new travelogue I would like to introduce you to the brand new social media tool AARDVARK!

Some of you may already be  familiar with this network tool as it has been opened to the public since october. Some of you may even be part of it actually? However for those of you who -just like me!- had never heard of it, here is the basic concept :

  1. a free service
  2. enabling users to mobilize their social network for answers to their questions
  3. questions of any kind
  4. usually the network provides a response within a few minutes

And guess what? Arrdvark has just been bought by…

Scary hum!?

A good reason enough to think it’s worth it to inquire a bit further on this new tool…

How does this service works? What is the real input offered to users an is it really valuable? What is the relavance of the answers obtained? What is at stake with this new social media tool?

To answer these questions I have decided to :

  • Sign-up and create a profile on Aardvark
  • to ask any kind of questions
  • to evaluate the answers
  • to observe users
  • to keep an eye open on the conversation going on about this new tool to discover people’s reaction to this service

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9 Comments

  1. Ryan 00:54, Feb 23rd, 10

    I heard of this. It seems like a pretty cool idea. It kinda reminds me of phone a friend on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire”, but in this case it opens it up to anyone. I wonder how it finds the right people or how accurate the answers are.

  2. ElzbthMllr 08:08, Feb 23rd, 10

    At first glance it seems like success of this will be based on its crowdsourcing element? I will be curious to see what you learn from this. I’m a bit confused just on the basics of this, can you also answer questions as well? If so you should spend a bit of time doing that to see how that works. Any idea how much Google bought it for?

  3. Leslie 09:12, Feb 23rd, 10

    Cool service! I never heard of it before. It reminds me of that kgb texting service that there’s always ads for on TV- except this one’s free (http://superbowl.kgb.com/)! Do you think Google will change the service in any way? It will be interesting to see if they leave it be and let it grow organically, or if they try to alter it in some way. And, it would also be interesting to watch if the service goes under after Google’s acquisition, like what happened with Dodgeball. I wonder what users think of Google now owning the service? Are they not happy with this? Or do they see it as a positive thing?

  4. juliette b 09:37, Feb 23rd, 10

    @Leslie,
    “Google isn’t disclosing the terms, but news of the acquisition was first reported by TechCrunch, who put the figure at around $50 million.”
    Sure I will try to answer questions as well. Cause I am wondering if I can answer questions of complete strangers.
    To be continued :-)

  5. Alexandra 12:09, Feb 23rd, 10

    I have never heard of this but I am definitely going to try it out! It looks really interesting. I typed in “How does Aardvark work?” and it told me my question was too short! Humph. Who answers the questions? Is this something you can sign up to do, and does someone vet the answers before sending them back?

  6. Alexandra 13:41, Feb 23rd, 10

    Ok, so I was curious about this and decided to sign myself up just to test it out. I asked if there was a guidebook I could get that focuses just on Taipei, not all of Taiwan. (I’m going there for spring break to visit my family. I don’t actually need a guidebook, but I thought it was a good question to try out.) I have yet to get a response – although the way they write you back is via gchat (or another IM client), which I think is cool – but I think maybe it’s because I don’t have a large network in aardvark. I’m not really sure, but I bet you will inform us of this and much more in your next travelogue.

  7. Harris 13:45, Feb 23rd, 10

    Google sent Aardvark straight to its Labs, converting the nocturnal mammal into a guinea pig :)

    But yes, first Buzz and now this, Google has been quite a ‘social butterfly’ trying to compete with social network sites, says this: http://www.pcworld.com/article/189173/what_google_gets_from_aardvarks_askafriend_service.html

    My friend recently joined a facebook group called: I hate it when people do their homework on Aardvark [http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=237705598956&ref=search&sid=786530656.2889719845..1]

  8. nadine 01:53, Feb 27th, 10
  9. Juliette 18:21, Feb 27th, 10

    @ Nadine,
    did not know about Yahoo Answers but after having a quick look at it it seems to be the same principle. I did not sign up though… Let me inquire a bit further. I feel like it’s less of a social network…