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Vark

September 3, 2009

Every once in a while I have a question to which Google and Twitter don’t know the answer.

Today, for example, I had a question about the iPhone. I wanted to know if people in St. Louis have any problems with AT&T’s service for iPhones. Very specific, very targeted.

Fortunately, I had just learned about a website called Vark (short for “aardvark”) from NY Times tech columnist David Pogue. The site connects with all of your friends on Facebook (and their friends, and everyone on Vark) to help find you answers for short questions like the one I had.

It works perfectly.

Within just a few minutes after signing up (free, took about 30 seconds) and posting my question, I had an answer. I’ve had two more since then, all relevant, all helpful.

It’s not often that I find a web service so clean and simple and full of utility. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. BasementDweller permalink
    September 4, 2009 12:27 am

    sounds pretty cool.
    I am a fan of chacha (www.chacha.com). you can text them for free when you are on the go. i use it mostly for phone numbers for restaurants, stores, other random places but you can also ask them other things. one time i asked where the biggest bag of chips i could buy was. a real human answers you, so if you get lonely and no one is texting you it is nice to ask a question.

    • September 4, 2009 9:27 am

      You know, I have chacha saved on my phone, but I’ve never used it. I’ll give it a try!

  2. Joe S permalink
    September 4, 2009 7:10 am

    answers.yahoo.com can also be a neat service too. Never tried Vark but Yahoo Answers has worked for me in the past.

  3. September 4, 2009 3:52 pm

    Jamey, glad to hear you’re enjoying Aardvark so far! Thanks for the post. I’d love to hear any other feedback people have.

    Per the comments, there are definitely situations that ChaCha and Yahoo Answers are great for – Aardvark’s best when you want a quick answer or opinion from someone you’re connected to.

    – Alison @ Aardvark
    alison@aardvarkteam.com

    • September 7, 2009 10:57 am

      Thanks Alison! Now that’s great customer service. The only feedback I have is that I hope I can text to Vark someday (although I see how responses don’t work well in that format because they’re limited to 160 characters).

  4. September 8, 2009 11:20 am

    Jamey – Thanks for the feedback! Recently we’ve been focusing our mobile attention on our iPhone app, which will be released soon, but we’re definitely planning on looking at SMS afterward.

    • Red permalink
      September 10, 2009 4:06 pm

      I’d have been happy to answer your question Jamey. I have had problems at mass events, like St Pat’s in Dogtown, or Opening Day Downtown. I’ve had the same problems with other carriers. I have had a few dropped calls in strange places, like on my couch, when the phone reads full signal too.

      Not awful, but noticable. My Verizon was pretty good, and I know that lots of people are waiting for the Apple/AT&T Exclusivity contract to expire. Unfortunately, CNet experts now seem to think that while the buzz that Verizon would pick up the IPhone was big a few months ago, chances are looking slim now.

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