I learned about Aardvark on 2009-10-09 on FriendFeed. No idea what it is at first but I'm instantly hooked.
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!
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!
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
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
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!
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
Peter V: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B_(programming_language) looks like it was also used in C's predecessor, B
I'm definitely a happy camper. Highly recommended! Much thanks to the developers who created this!
Archive of questions I've asked on Aardvark
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