questions & answers

Putting Explainists on Call?

This is a cool idea: Aardvark promises to connect askers to qualified answerers. ReadWriteWeb explains:

Aardvark is a neat new service that lives in your IM client and which routes any question you might have to an Aardvark user who has the right expertise to answer your query. In return, Aardvark will also send you a few questions every day that fit your profile. You then decide to either answer the question or refer it to another friend. Of course, you can also always pass if you don’t know the answer.

The examples on Aardvark’s site are in the helpful tips vein (e.g. “What’s the best place to go biking around Golden Gate Park?”), and I expect this will be the way most people use the service. But depending on how the matching system works, it could also be a great way to find good “why” explanations too — like a clear breakdown of a difficult concept or a plain English definition for an unfamiliar term. Yahoo! Answers, Answerbag and similar sites get lots of these types of questions and the answers are almost always terrible. You get a random selection of people typing out their best guest, whether they know anything or not. By finding the right expert for you, maybe Aardvark will improve the signal to noise ratio.

I’m looking forward to finding out. It’s supposed to come out of private beta at South by Southwest, which kicks off on Friday.

[via ReadWriteWeb]

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