Why aardvark? u guys had something great going on here.. selling out so soon, with so much potential to make you much richer than the $50M google gave u… just like smule who had a fantastic head start with the ocarina and other apps.. they raised $3.9M dollars thereafter. the aardvark community grew strongly quickly and created a niche that no other search engine does nor did. real time answering from real people. sure, u have yahoo answers et tal.. in those u hope that someone knowledgeable will pick up the glove and provide you with the info you need. by using vark, u can get good answers in minutes, and the more you ask, the more the system learns about how to route the question to the right person and figure out which answer was a good one. there was an attempt at the beginning of the interent revolution. at the time i was at my 2nd year in college studying computer scient. one of our teachers started a small venture where people answer each other’s questions. the implementation was not at it’s best, but it kinda worked. after two years of operations the money had run out and the creative ideas of how to make money dried as well, so they shut it down (for the life of me, i cannot remember the name of that company). what vark is doing differently is several things. one, it uses jabber/xmmp protocol to be present right there alongside gmail contacts with google talk, or any aggregator (like adium) that supports this open source protocol. the heart of the system is the algorithms to analyze a given question, suggest the right tag (ie topic) and route it to whoever is a good authority in the field (usually more than one person). those people are online (naturally) and can either pass or answer. you can then continue discussing the issue with them, rank it as a good answer or flag it as an inappropriate one. if u did not get the answer you want, you can resubmit it, change the tags and hope for the best. i started testing aardvark since the day it launched it’s beta and later on the iphone app. at the beginning there were not many users, and not so many questions to answer, but quite slowly, over a period of two months it was working really well. best case scenario, i got a solid answer in less than a minute. nothing i could do with google or any other search engine. the social aspect is interesting as well. people love giving answers to what they know about. there is an innate desire in humans to help each other out… u may say it is an ego thing (and to some extent u are probably right), however, people get our of their way to provide answers sometimes, doing basic research, giving good links and more. so why is google buying aardvark? good question. two answers: one, the small team of aardvark are ex google employees with top notch management with yale and stanford grads. these are serious people with the creativity and leadership ability to makes things work. they understand google and it’s weaknesses and have found a way to monetize. two, real time person to person (rtp2p) search does not exist. and the aardvark team has shown us that it can be done, and done well. so where is the money? meaning… how does the aardvark makes it’s profit. good question again. and the answer is simple: just like google’s adwords, the aardvark places results that are paid for. for example, let’s say someone is asking the community if they can recommend or know a computer technician in the upper west side of manhaatan. some people will respond giving their input, but this question can be routed directly into a paying customer, who wants to be notified immediately when someone is looking for a technician in the metropolitan area. long short – a lead engine. i have answered several questions and provided links to products on amazon, using my amazon referral id, so why not others in a streamlined maner, where the vark directs all of those potential leads to the user. aardvark also plants automatic answers. i was questioned by the devel team about the quality of that feature a couple of months back, when i was looking for someone to build a loft bed in my studio. i got an answer from service magic, a well known lead generator for all type of construction work. if haven’t tried aardvark u definitely should. they are at http://vark.com, they have a free iphone app and they can be added to your fav jabber client as [email protected] Confirmed: Google has Acquired Aardvark.