Aardvark was shut down by Google.

Aardvark is a trial of social search. The basic idea is to find the best person you can ask instead of the best webpages. Aardvark is a very good idea, but after being acquired by Google in 2010, it seems that the team gave up this service–there was no change at all for the whole year.
The essence of of Aardvark is to help people to find the right person to ask the question. However, in Aardvark, people are hidden behind the algorithm. There is little interaction between the one who asks the question and the one who answers. It just make people feel cold and stiffly. That’s the reason why it fails.
Aardvark works like wiki. The contribution of members is the key factor that whether the community is sustainable or not. If there is no interaction between humans, how can then feel the sense of accomplishment? Who wants to work for machines without pennies? Don’t be stupid.

At the same, Quora emerged as a giant in the Q&A field. In Quora, people are pushed to the front, facing directly with humans instead of machines. Although the search in Quora is still about topic, not people. It is in the right direction. Give people more incentives by promoting interaction and acknowledgement.

After Page enrolled as CEO, Google has cut off a lot of programs, including the famous Google Lab. Google need to be more focused to win in the social war with Facebook, and all the distractions need to be cleared away, including Aardvark.

Of course, it’s reasonable for the benefits of Google. My point is that if you really want to make your idea reality, just don’t sell yourself to a big company. It makes no sense to expect big company to make your idea reality. I don’t means they will surely not, but just don’t keep high expectation on that since they have more “important” things to do. Also don’t expect you can make your idea reality within a big company, you are forced to do more “important” things under that environment.

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