Wikis and search engines

Added by Stephane Goldstein on 03 January 2007 20:16

The run-up to Christmas probably isn’t the best time of year to launch a new concept, but while all those turkeys were thawing, something called Search Wikia started drawing attention to itself.  This is a project aimed at putting the human into search engines ("a new kind of search engine, which relies on human intelligence to do what algorithms cannot"), i.e. to use the concept of wikis to enable more effective searching.

I’m not entirely sure how this might work in practice, nor do I know if Google et al have anything to worry about.  Does anyone have any views about whether this is a genuinely innovative and potentially useful idea?  From the perspective of the RIN, is this something likely to attract the attention of professional researchers?  The recent RIN report on how the latter use discovery services pointed to a reluctance on their part (at least for those of them older than their mid-twenties) to use social networking tools such as blogs as part of their strategy for finding resources needed for their research.  How might they behave in a brave new world where they could be called upon to "help build people-powered search results"?

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