BusinessWeek wrote a profile on new start-up Aardvark. The social search engine uses your personal network of friends to help you find answers to your questions.
I warned that the risk of relying on your network is that they may start to suffer from participation fatigue:
Socially oriented search engines also need to fight what Internet marketing consultant Andy Beal of MarketingPilgrim.com calls “participation fatigue” by users peppered with questions from people they may barely know.
“When we use Google for our searches, we’re tapping into a vast array of computer servers and complex algorithms that offer an infinite willingness to provide answers to our questions,” Beal says. “Search engines that rely on crowdsourcing run the risk that the crowds in question will eventually run out of enthusiasm to constantly help others.”