I just found out that there's Aardvark service that claims to answer any questions. And it's now backed by Google.

How do Aardvark and StackExchange - based sites compare? Is Aardvark a threat to SO/SE?

  • 8
    – ChrisF Mod
    Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 9:54
  • I don't seem to be able to navigate that site. Where are the questions that were asked in the past? What were the answers? Who provided them? Where are their rep points and badges, so I can evaluate whether I should trust them? Call me spoiled by SE, but these are all extremely vital points to me, and the Aardvark FAQ doesn't really address them. In fact, it openly states that it considers "mysterious factors" to determine who should answer my question. Meh.
    – ЯegDwight
    Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 10:25
  • Competition isn't a threat.
    – badp
    Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 10:33
  • 1
    @radp: I didn't mean "threat" in sence of stabbing with a knife, I meant it in sence of grabbing the marketshare.
    – sharptooth
    Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 10:34

5 Answers 5


Well, let's see how it responds then:

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I've also asked a slightly more series question about CSS to see if they'll get me a correct answer.

Edit: Let's have a look at the answers

The question is:

How stable are the implementations of the CSS3 rotate transformation in the major browsers today?

What I had in mind was asking about whether the implementation (ie. specifications) of this new CSS3 property has settled down.

alt text

The answerer didn't really get the question, but that's understandable. It is after all, slightly vague. Unfortunately even then there's still a factual error in this answer - Opera, since version 10.5, has the -o-transform property, so there's a minor error in the answer. Now the other question:

Is Aaedvark [sic] a threat to the StackExchange/Stack Overflow Q&A network? re: Is Aardvark a threat to SO/SE?

Please excuse the typo. It wasn't intentional.

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Not entirely sure what this answer actually means, but surely the question is clear enough. If by Q&A the answerer meant the SE network, then he's very very wrong. The social networking bit is correct, but doesn't really answer the question. Let's see what will happen if I request for another answer...

  • You typoed the keyword there...
    – badp
    Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 10:33
  • @radp Yeah, I know :( it wasn't intentional. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be an edit function there
    – Yi Jiang
    Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 10:34
  • 1
    Maybe he meant the Q&A on Aardvark isn't indexed by Google? Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 12:20
  • Perhaps Guillaume meant that the questions on Aaedvark aren't indexed. Since that service doesn't exist, he's right! Seriously though, +1 for "let's go find out," though if this is a new service it's not a fair comparison (need to give them a fair chance to build up a user base).
    – Pops
    Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 12:47

No. Ardvark is something completely different - it answers the question you ask, but it doesn't seem to provide a public history of questions & answers! It's a very 'now' kind of thing, and the answers can't really improve (from what I can see), except by asking for another answer.

It's something different. Neat, but different.


My aarkvard first-user experience:

  1. Ask
  2. Register with my Google Account
  3. Authorize connection with Google
  4. Actually register (you need to disclose name, surname and city)
    • Try again registering until you say you live in a well known enough city that the system recognises.
  5. Wait a minute for aarkvard to "sync" with your Google account
  6. Pick at least three topic you want to answer questions about (I picked computer, internet, something else)
  7. Accept the IM request from aarkvard.
  8. View the dashboard (my question is still pending)
  9. Click on Answer, read the question Aarkvard thinks I can reply to:

    what is the format of Czech NHIS number ? detail: There is a specific format and validation algorithm for Czech NHIS number...I want to know that

  10. Draw conclusions.

The whole process is quite different (and quite longer, and quite more annoying) than StackExchange's. Those are really different beasts.


I answer questions on Aardvark all the time. And I will often post links to StackOverflow or SuperUser in my answers!

As I just said earlier today in chat:

I use Stack Exchange sites for objective questions, Aardvark for subjective ones :-)

Aardvark even says their service is best when you need other people to provide advice, opinions or for subjective topics that search engines are not good at.


I found this comment on the page that announced the Google merger:

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