Social search with Aardvark (Q&A series)

Choosing topics

Aardvark describes itself as ‘social search’; whereby questions are answered by a person (or people) rather than a webpage. More specifically, they propose that seeking answers from people in your ‘networks’ can be more effective and provide better information than reliance on answers from the  ‘documents’ that search engines return.

While the platform doesn’t seem to be exactly heaving with activity since they were acquired by Google early last year, it has its loyal fans and questions get answered in good time. However, the real strength of Aardvark is in the instant messaging and mobile access options in what is just generally an impressive but neglected platform.

Aardvark is a more flexible Q&A service than some of the other main players. While the website vark.com is a good starting point, it soon becomes clear that the main emphasis of Aardvark is on mobile access; (via iPhone app) and integration with instant messaging.

Continue reading “Social search with Aardvark (Q&A series)”

Advertisements

Crowdsourcing answers with Quora (q&a series)

There are quite a few Question and Answer websites aiming to fill a gap left by search engine algorithms by taking a crowd sourcing approach to references services and over the coming weeks we will be reviewing a few of them.

Q&A sites are based on the premise that people answer questions better than search engines do and, I’m sure this is often true. But, as Yahoo! Answers regularly demonstrates, the wisdom of crowds is no sure thing. How do you ensure the quality of answers, or even the questions themselves?

We will be looking at how these services approach issues such as these, starting with Quora.

organize quora
Quora ontology

There are a number of Question and Answer websites aiming to fill a gap left by search engine algorithms by taking a crowdsourcing approach to references services and over the coming weeks we will be reviewing a few of them.

Q&A sites are based on the premise that people answer questions better than search engines do and I’m sure this is often true. But, as Yahoo! Answers regularly demonstrates, the wisdom of crowds is not guaranteed. How do you ensure the quality of answers, or even the questions themselves?

We will be looking at how these services approach issues such as these, starting with Quora. Continue reading “Crowdsourcing answers with Quora (q&a series)”