Aardvark

I learned about Aardvark on 2009-10-09 on FriendFeed. No idea what it is at first but I'm instantly hooked.

http://vark.com
http://twitter.com/vark

See also SML Ask.

For a long while now I have been using http://ask.metafilter.com to get answers, but these usually take a long time. And a while back MeFi decided that they are getting too much traffic and they set a limit to 1 question per day. Not good.

About the service

So what is Aardvark, you ask? Aardvark is a web app that taps into your Facebook network to find answers for you. This btw is also the first time I've signed up for any services using Facebook Connect!

flickr:4022557094

When I click the join using Facebook Connect button, the site asked my permission to import my profiles, and the based on my interests on Facebook, automatically added categories where I may have answers for (smart!) Then it noted the different networks I'm in (New York, Yale, IconNicholson) and pulled up all the contacts on my Facebook who are already on my network to my contact list. Nifty! No manual import necessary!

flickr:4022567352

So basically you ask a question on the site and it looks for your friends and those in your network to find an answer. You can ask questions via conventional channels like emails or on the web site, but it also has tight integration support with IM (gtalk) and Twitter.

Example 1: My question about Creative Commons

For example, let's say that you have a question about creative commons (which I did) I tweeted this:

SA vs ND: Does ND prohibits cropping or add typography on top of my photography? @vark #creativecommons
http://twitter.com/seeminglee/statuses/4784626449

Immediately I receive multiple responses via IM. I can type my reply for further questions via IM, or I can get onto the site to type longer paragraphs. When you send your questions via Twitter, Aardvark also DM a message when you've got replies. Very handy.

Example 2: My question about Copyright Law

Yesterday I had a question regarding copyright law because someone suggested that I do not have the right to tweet about his photo because they are copyrighted, even though all I did was post a link to his photo (wtf?!), so I tweeted this:

Is tweeting about a @Flickr photo against the copyright law? @vark #law #copyright
http://twitter.com/seeminglee/statuses/4957877311

Well surely enough I got replies. And interestingly I noted that the replies I received are from the Yale network, possibly from Yale Law? Maybe, no clue, but the important bits is that I've received very helpful advice and feedback regarding my queries. In the past I just ask questions openly on Twitter but generally speaking that doesn't help much. Trying to look for friends who 'might' know the answer is also not too easy.

Example 3: My question about the origin of !=

Questions asked on Aardvark need not be at all serious. I told you about my questions regarding #copyright #law and #creativecommons, but here I ask about the origin of != and I learned that before C there was B!

flickr:4021824613

SML: Someone asks me what the origin of != is from. Any geek knows?

Peter V.: oldest use i'm aware of is in the C programming language

SML: Thanks!!!

Peter V: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B_(programming_language) looks like it was also used in C's predecessor, B

SML: Wow now that's helpful!!! Tweeted: http://twitter.com/seeminglee/status/4751952202 :D Peter V. Your contribution is perma-noted at http://wiki.seeminglee.com/sml-thank-you !!! :)

Conclusion

I'm definitely a happy camper. Highly recommended! Much thanks to the developers who created this!

Archive of questions I've asked on Aardvark

http://friendfeed.com/search?q=from%3Aseeminglee+vark

{"module":"feed\/FeedModule","params":{"src":"http:\/\/friendfeed.com\/search?q=from%3Aseeminglee+vark&format=atom","module_body":"* %%linked_title%% %%date%% %%long%%"}}

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