Real Answers From Real People -- Aardvark Launches Social Search at Vark.com

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New Web site gives everyone a place to connect to the hidden experts in their social network

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Sharing knowledge takes on a game-like quality with Aardvark. It plays to the innate human desire to spontaneously spread information among family, friends and colleagues and be recognized and rewarded for getting a casual quiz right.

Aardvark, the popular social search application, today announced the launch of its social search web site, vark.com. Now anyone on the web can ask a question about any topic and get a live answer within minutes.

Aardvark social search is the quickest and easiest way to get quality answers from trusted people, instead of scrolling through lists of computer-generated links. Aardvark takes advantage of peoples' existing social networks to discover subject-matter experts who are happy to help people they are connected to. These everyday experts can answer questions in almost real-time, from recipes and parenting issues, to car repair mysteries, movie and restaurant recommendations all the way to complicated technical questions that require a scientist's or a neighbor's insight.

"Consider Aardvark your very own brain trust of experts who are ready to help within minutes. Best of all, their ranks keep growing and getting smarter all the time. It's the ideal way to tap into your social network instantly --a resource that you've already built up," said Max Ventilla, CEO of Aardvark. "Sharing knowledge takes on a game-like quality with Aardvark. It plays to the innate human desire to spontaneously spread information among family, friends and colleagues and be recognized and rewarded for getting a casual quiz right."

Vark.com is building on the success of Aardvark's IM and iPhone applications which have been in beta testing since early 2009. The new web site does away with the need for an IM program to get started. Adding a social and real-time layer to traditional search engines, vark.com features a no-frills window to present and respond to questions, surrounded by a dashboard displaying current topics.

Users can answer a query, pass on it, or refer it to a knowledgeable friend. This process lets people discover new fields of interest, grow their repertoire of topics they are familiar with, and lets them realize how many hidden everyday experts they are connected to but never dared to ask. The more such discovery and conversations happen, the smarter Aardvark becomes and the better and faster it can deliver answers.

Aardvark acts as an intelligent broker that is built as a layer on top of the profiles and communication channels that people already use, from instant messaging and Twitter to Facebook. When a user asks a question, Aardvark looks at that person's Facebook profile to see who is in the individual's extended network, and what they might be able to answer questions about, based on profile activities and interests.

"This is all totally seamless to the user," explained CEO Ventilla. "We interface with Twitter in the same way that we interface with the established IM networks as one of many communication channels through which people talk to their friends. Aardvark lives in that communication channel naturally."

Aardvark was built by a team of seasoned engineers from leading technology companies such as Google, Sun Microsystems and Yahoo. It uses the latest standards and APIs, including Facebook Connect, to unlock the value of popular social networks for the everyday questions of its users.

About Aardvark
Aardvark is a social search engine, IM and iPhone application designed to help people get answers to questions from people in their social networks. Founded in late 2007, Aardvark was built by a team of seasoned engineers from leading technology companies such as Google, Sun Microsystems and Yahoo. It uses the latest standards and APIs, including Facebook Connect, to unlock the value of popular social networks for the everyday questions of its users. The company is backed by August Capital with participation from Baseline Ventures. Other investors are technology thought leaders, including Michael Dearing, Sep Kamvar, Marc Andreesen, Deep Nishar, Sean Fanning, Aydin Senkut, and others. Aardvark is based in San Francisco, CA.

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Rob Spiro
Aardvark
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