Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Wikiseek

Does your search engine disappoint you? Would you rather only find content that is from Wikipedia or linked to from Wikipedia articles? The tool for you is at hand with the launch today of Wikiseek.

The site description reads, "The contents of Wikiseek are restricted to Wikipedia pages and only those sites which are referenced within Wikipedia, making it an authoritative source of information less subject to spam and SEO schemes. Wikiseek utilizes Searchme's category refinement technology, providing suggested search refinements based on user tagging and categorization within Wikipedia, making results more relevant than conventional search engines."

Although Wikipedia may have problems, all the content there is peer reviewed. Further, all the links to other Web sites are ruthlessly examined and weeded on a regular basis making it hard for any but the best sites to survive long term. If you disagree with any of the content or links, you can change it, discuss it, and view the history of how changes have been made. The Wikipedia project is truly open.

However, I do have concerns on basing a search engine entirely on Wikipedia. If something is not in Wikipedia, is it not worth finding? I kind of view Wikipedia like any other encyclopedia. It is a good starting point for background information but not in and of itself a source to use for serious research. Hence, any search engine (like Wikiseek) based on it is only a place to find the background information. Other tools (like library databases and other search engines) would be needed in many cases to move into deeper content.

How are students going to react to this search engine? While some give up Google and use this? I know many of the college students use Wikipedia as their main research tool so this may be a logical extension to them.

1 comment:

futef said...

Check out http://futef.com - it also searches Wikipedia content but has much better relevance. Additionally, it has a facetted navigation system that allows for narrowing by category. Give it a try and let us know what you think.