Collaborative networked learning can be real-time. New opportunities for finding and forming CNL's are taking shape in the real-time Web of people, not content repositories. One such application which shows promise is Aardvark. Aardvark provides a preview of tools in the making.
Working on a learning task, missing critical information to formulate a hypothesis or test out your hunch, you can connect in real-time with Aardvark. You can post any question, and Aardvark will attempt to find a person in your extended network who knows about the topic and is available to answer at the moment.
"Aardvark facilitates these conversations through a very polite IM bot, an iPhone app with push notifications, the company's website, Twitter or email. Instead of broadcasting your question to every one's stream of information, Aardvark delivers the question only to people who are relevant and available."
The Aardvark mission is to get you current answers, not previously published text from repositories, from persons in your own network. Expanding one's network of course increases the possibility of locating someone with knowledge who is available. CNL today is not limited to asynchronous conversation as groups emerge into the real-time conversational web.