Hi, please

Aardvark case, back in the game!

Being a neophyte in the Web 2.0 world, when I became aware of this new network was to freak out : How can they pretend and make me believe that complete strangers to me will answer to all of my questions? I obviously got scared and attacked the computers in general (lol)

Both Dan and Mushon’s comments put me back on the right track. I was focusing on the wrong question regarding Aardvark. After all, Aardvark is just a new search engine, an alternative to Google, mobilizing people’s knowledge.

Indeed while most of search engines’ results rely on the Internet, Aardvark rely on people. It taps on your preexisting network of friends (by connecting with Facebook, your email account etc…)

The correct question would have been:

Aardvark, a trustworthy alternative to Google, Yahoo and Wikipedia ? Arkvaard versus Google?

I have to admit that my travelogue got me confused: as much as I was enthusiastic when I discovered it (enough to start my travelogue on it!), I was completely turned off by my user experience in the “long run”. Even if some specific answers were interesting there was nothing catchy. And reading strangers’ answers did not really raise my interest! Especially when those strangers send you a link to Wikipedia!

What do they think Aardvark’s input is then?

Looking for more information, I have learned that at the very beginning Aardvark was not a website it was just something you could put over IM and that enabled you to let your network of friends know that you were looking for an answer. But now that it is super easy to create an account on their web interface, anyone can answer your question.

So how are the answers you get supposed to be more reliable?

I am still wondering and will come up with an answer soon!

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  1. Alexandra 10:05, Mar 8th, 10

    I wonder why Google paid so much to acquire this site? The idea of it sounds good in theory, but are people really going to take the time to give quality answers? Or just direct you to wikipedia, as you experienced? Maybe I am naive asking this question, but when would people even have time or inclination to do this stuff?

  2. juliette b 13:22, Mar 8th, 10

    Thanks Alex!
    I really don’t think this question is naive. To answer it, I am interviewing active users of Aardvark to understand what they gain by using it…

  3. ElzbthMllr 14:40, Mar 8th, 10

    I think the same reason that people contribute to wikipedia will lead people to give quality answers. It goes back to Shirky’s concept of cognitive surplus. That being said, it will have to gain enough popularity amongst users in order to get that kind of support. Do you have any data on how many people are signed up? How many people use it? Would be interesting to know if its growing etc.