Aardvark has launched its new social search site at vark.com. Though previously it was available through IM, Twitter, and email, having a presence as a bona fide website seems to be a boost.
Aardvark's version of social search is more like an answers site than other social search sites. To test it out, I first asked a question about last night's Monday Night Football game because I didn't catch the final score.
Yes, it is easy to just go to ESPN.com and look it up. But the advantage of Aardvark is similar to SMS search - go on about your day while someone else does the searching. Of course, a question about Monday Night Football wouldn't even require searching. I knew some dudes out there watched the game.
It feels a lot like throwing a question out to your Twitter or Facebook networks, but those contacts don't always want to answer questions. At Aardvark, the whole point is answering questions.
Here's how it works.
Type in your question and wait for a response. People in the Aardvark community will answer it. You'll get an email when they do. You can also answer other people's questions.
The only thing I didn't like was Aardvark's extensive sign-up process. They have Facebook connect, which is normally a quick way to use a membership site. But then they made me sign up for an Aardvark account as well. If I wasn't a search blogger, I can't say that I would have signed up for yet another site. As a search blogger, using the site was pretty fun, so I recommend signing up anyway.
One thing that would be nice to see Aardvark incorporate is real-time updates and a more seamless way of accessing questions. Perhaps links to a user's most recent questions on the right hand sidebar for easy access and then sidebar updating as the user asks questions and answers come in. Instead, the page must be manually refreshed - and only links to a separate page with your Q&As appears.
These are relatively minor pet peeves at launch. There are obviously some smart dudes behind Aardvark so keep an eye on how this site evolves.