Knowledge-based social network Jabberwot launches

A social network launched this weekend aims to put in touch people who wish to discuss and learn more about any subject in the world, without having to consult unreliable websites.

The site is free and is users can upload their profiles specifying their own expert areas and what they would be available for. A bit like a cross between an online lonely hearts column, Facebook and eBay.  Jabberwot creator, Rupert Douglas-Bate said: “The site is built on the premise that real knowledge comes from real people behind the vast array of internet pages.”

He explained to the Bath Chronicle that a severe lack of history knowledge at a dinner party inspired him to create the site. “I was at a dinner party in Bristol and somebody asked who translated the Bible,” he said. “Someone said Tyndale, someone else said Martin Luther and someone else Martin Luther King – it was at that point I realised we needed some help.”

People with a query can therefore browse the profiles on Jabberwot looking for the perfect expert on zoology or pan pipes or whatever it is they want. When you’ve decided who you’d like to talk to on their specialist subject you can contact them for a meeting, which can be a coffee or booking them for an after dinner speech. Or you can just email them a question.

The experts or ‘jabbers’ can negotiate their fee with the searcher or ‘wot’ although simple email questions are expected to be free of charge. Wots can also barter unwanted goods for knowledge, should they feel like it.

Categories include languages, hobbies and education, with an eBay-style rating system on how helpful the knowledge has been.