The Rise Of Help Engines: Twitter & Aardvark

Back in 2000, there was a little-remembered but amazing survey that I love to cite showing how search engines had, in only a few years, topped the list of information resources consulted. They'd even pushed past family and friends. Now the times are changing, as family and friends have themselves become easily searchable resources. The survey, "The Consumer Daily Question Study," (and see here) tracked 74 people over four days in Boston, Des Moines and San Diego. They were given tape recorders and asked to record questions that occurred to them. Over 1,200 [...]

How We Search With The Twitter “Help Engine”

Is Twitter a search engine or not? There's been plenty of discussion and debate about this recently. I'd say yes, in a way. It's clear to anyone who watches a twitterstream that people put out questions to Twitter similar to how they use search engines. But if anecdotal examples aren't enough, a survey I conducted last week confirms that Twitter is used as a search resource. If you're scratching your head about the phrase "help engine" in the headline, my companion piece, The Rise Of Help Engines: Twitter & Aardvark, goes into more depth about the new [...]

Aardvark “Help Engine” Opens To Wider Use

In private testing for the past few months, Aardvark is now opening its doors to more searchers today in conjunction with the South By Southwest conference. Also known as Vark, Aardvark is a "help engine" that allows people to send questions to friends and friends of friends and receive fast responses. My companion piece, The Rise Of Help Engines: Twitter & Aardvark, goes into more depth about the new class of search engines I'm calling help engines and why. Vark is designed to leverage existing social networks that its users have and route questions [...]

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