… and if not directly from friends, the next best thing is answers from friends-of-friends.
If you haven’t tried it yet, take a look at Aardvark.
Being well connected just got a whole lot better. Whether you are tiptoeing into the social sphere carefully or frolicking in it like a jello wrestler, you will quickly see a benefit if you haven’t already.
While Google offers almost instant access to any information you’re looking for, Wikipedia is a mouse click away instead in multiple volumes in a library around the corner, and community forums offer a great way to learn and share problems and solutions, when it comes to social media, it’s all about your friends and conversations.
What’s better than asking Google for an answer to a question? Asking a friend. And if that friend doesn’t know, perhaps they have a referral of someone they know that may have the answer. The referral system has been around since Planet of the Apes and it’s doesn’t take Neil Armstrong to figure out why people trust their friends more than a big company.
You have ventured into sharing photos and status updates with your friends on Facebook and you may even be intrigued by Twitter, but what about search? Is there a place for the “social” part of “social media” in search?
I believe the answer is yes. With Aardvark, you can ask a question, any question, and either a friend of yours, or a friend of a friend will send you the answer. The key is that the answer is from a human, someone who cares, someone who has a very unique way of thinking about problems, likes, dislikes, the best places to go, the best ergonomic chair to buy, answers to coding questions, browser compatibility issues, the best place in San Francisco’s Union Square for a quick drink, and/or how to find demographic information about your twitter followers. (The Twitter demographics one was picked up and put on FriendFeed by Robert Scoble.)
Last week there was an article in the NY Times about Aardvark, the web service that answers questions through friends and friends-of-friends, which my friend Amy (Happy Birthday again Amy!) referred me to today on Gtalk. I am so thrilled for Aardvark and can’t wait for more people to try it. My experience so far has been very good and I’m betting we’re only at the very beginning of this adventure.
Congratulations on your successes, Aardvark, I’m not surprised. Thanks for offering a great service.