Thanks to the kindness and generosity of Troy Horton, Owner of HeerMee Studio, and recording artist Nick Harris, who conducted the event held at HeerMee studios inside Centerpointe Mall. The Daisy troop came up with an idea to send a positive message to our troops and let them know how much they appreciated their service and sacrifice. They sang a verse from "America"(My country tis a thee) and each of the daisies then gave an sincere heartfelt thanks to the troops. We will provide a link once the project is completed.
Aardvark has defined a new kind of social search: sometimes you want a person, not a web page, to answer your question. We’re extremely excited that Google shares our vision for how search can continue to evolve by including social features.
We have spent the past two years carefully designing and building Aardvark, combining our own vision with a rigorous user-driven development process. This acquisition represents an incredible opportunity to accelerate this development, working with some of the most amazing folks in the industry to offer a new kind of search to hundreds of millions of people.
As a first step, effective immediately, Aardvark will be available through Google Labs. Aardvark will remain fully operational and completely free, providing quick, helpful answers to all of your questions. You can sign up here.
As we move forward, we will continue working on Aardvark : improving its speed and quality, building exciting new features, responding to your feedback, and providing the highest level of support. Our top priority has been, and remains, providing a high-quality user experience.
We want to thank our great investors and advisors for helping make Aardvark a reality. And most of all, a big thank you to all the Aardvark users, for your incredible feedback and support. We’re honored by your participation in the social search revolution, and we’ll continue working hard to earn it.
We’ve put together a brief FAQ below to answer questions for our users and the press about the acquisition.
Onwards and varkwards!
- Max & Damon
: What is Aardvark
A: Aardvark is social search: ask any question and Aardvark will discover the perfect person in your network to answer in minutes. Aardvark launched a private beta in March, 2009, and has been growing rapidly since. Today people use Aardvark via vark.com, the Aardvark iPhone App, IM and email. Over the past few months Aardvark has had amazing reception by the industry and press, appearing in the New York Times, Time’s 50 Best Websites of 2009, TechCrunch, and winning runner-up as the Best New Product or Startup of 2009 at the Crunchies awards. Read more on our press page.
Q: Who’s building Aardvark?
A: The Aardvark Team is composed of about 30 people, with some of the best engineers and researchers in the industry. The team includes engineers from each of Silicon Valley’s major technology companies, four AI Ph.D.s, and founders from a dozen different successful startups.
Q: Why is Aardvark excited about joining Google?
A: We want social search to reach hundreds of millions people around the world, and joining with Google lets us reach that scale — we’re also excited to work with the team at Google: our company has a culture that was inspired by Google in many ways, and we have a lot of respect for the folks who work there.
Q: Will Aardvark keep running?
A: Yes! Aardvark will keep running and improving on a daily basis — over IM and email, on the Aardvark Mobile iPhone app, and on vark.com. Go ahead and ask a question just to make sure
Q: What will happen to my Aardvark account?
A: It will keep working just as it does today.
Q: Can I still sign up for a new Aardvark account?
A: Yes! You can sign up here. Sign up is easy and quick, especially if you use your Google account to import your profile!
Q: Are you going to keep working on improving Aardvark?
A: Absolutely. You can expect us to keep introducing new features, fixing bugs, and improving the speed and quality of the service.
Q: What’s going to change about Aardvark?
A: The main thing that’s going to change is that we’ll be able to move even faster with the support of Google.
Q: Are my questions and answers going to show up on Google Search?
Q: What’s going to happen to the Aardvark Team?
A: The Aardvark team will continue working together within Google, and we’re also excited to have other Google folks joining the team as we move forward. We’ll be primarily working on improving Aardvark and exploring ways to improve social features in other Google products.
Q: How can I apply to work/intern at Aardvark now that we’re at Google?
A: Aardvark recruiting is now a part of the Google recruiting process — you can apply to work on Aardvark within Google! If you’re interested in joining our team, please email us.
Just a reminder that time is running short to sign up and save on the Feb. 20th Krav Maga Seminar w/Israeli Instructor Moshe Katz.
Moshe is a highly sought after defensive tactics instructor from Isreal and has taught law enforcement, military, and civilian seminars throughout the world. He is coming in directly from Israel to teach us authentic Krav Maga from the country it originated. Moshe is the only student ever to get a 4th degree black belt from Itay Gil (star of the Human Weapon - Krav Maga episode).
This training is beneficial for anyone (ages 16 - 60) who want to learn more about personal empowerment and self defense. All styles and experience levels welcome. Law enforcement and military personnel encouraged to partisipate.
What: Krav Maga Seminar w/Moshe Katz
Where: Westside Fitness
1618 Leonard NW
Grand Rapids, MI 40504
When: Sat. Feb. 20th
9am - 4pm
Cost: $70 paid in advance
$80 at door
Pre-register to reserve your spot and take advantage of the discount. Otherwise it is $80 at the door.
Make your checks for $70 out to Ronin Martial Arts and Send to:
449 South Division
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Give me a shout if you have any questions and/or if you would like to pre-pay to save your spot.
~Craig Gray Ronin Martial Arts Academy
First things first - let's get foursquare on your phone. Your best bet is to download either our iPhone, Android, Blackberry, or Palm app. If you have another phone with a web browser, you're best off using mobile website.
If you have a phone that doesn't have a web browser, you can use our SMS shortcode to check-in by sending messages to 50500 (like this: @ Ace Bar ! enjoying happy hour). Sorry, but this works in the US only for now.
Check-in to places
People use foursquare to "check-in", which is a way of telling us your whereabouts. When you check-in someplace, we'll tell your friends where they can find you and recommend places to go & things to do nearby. People check-in at all kind of places - cafes, bars, restaurants, parks, homes, offices.
You'll find that as your friends use foursquare to check-in, you'll start learning more about the places they frequent. Not only is it a great way to meet up with nearby friends, but you'll also start to learn about their favorite spots and the new places they discover.
Share your experiences with friends
Think of foursquare as an "urban mix tape." We'll help you make lists of your favorite things to do and let you share them with friends. Think beyond your standard review - we're looking less for "The food here is top notch" and more for "Go to Dumont Burger and try the most amazing Mac and Cheese ever." Foursquare will keep track of the things you've done, help you create To-Do lists and even suggest new experiences to seek out.
As you check-in around the city, you'll start finding tips that other users have left behind. After checking-in at a restaurant, it's not uncommon to unlock a tip suggesting the best thing on the menu. Checking-in at a bar will often offer advice on what your next stop should be. Every tip you create is discoverable by other users just by checking-in.
Earn points and unlock badges!
Every foursquare checkin earns you points. Find a new place in your neighborhood? +5 points. Making multiple stops in a night? +2 points. Dragging friends along with you? +1.
And as you start checking-in to more interesting places with different people, you'll start unlocking badges. There are badges for discovering new places and for traveling to far away places. Spending too much time singing karaoke or been hitting the gym consistently? Yes, there are badges for those too :)
Become the mayor! Unlock some freebies!
We all have our local hangouts and foursquare keeps tabs on who's the most loyal of all the regulars. If you've been to a place more than anyone else, you'll become "the mayor"... until someone else comes along and steals your title.
It may sound a little silly until you see the list of places that are offering freebies to our mayors - free coffees, free ice-cream, free hotel stays - it pays to be a foursquare loyalist and check-in whenever you go!