Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Wiki my search

Be on the lookout... a wiki-inspired search engine called Wikiasari (no web address yet) is going to be launched early this year. Since Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is behind the project, it’s already starting to create some noise.

It sounds like a great idea: apply the wisdom of crowds to search engines results. Of course this is already what search engines are attempting to do when they track which search results you click on or use link analysis (how many and what types of links are pointing to a page) to determine what are the best results to a particular query.

The problem will be eliminating the rich-get-richer phenomenon on the Web which makes it difficult for new pages to rise to the top. You can image a new page about Britney Spears that is of high quality (can a page about Britney be high quality? ), but it won’t be displayed to searchers since the top 10-20 results already have been voted to be the best.

And how do you get users to evaluate the relevance of results on the third or forth set of results? Studies have shown users rarely go beyond the first page or two of results. Some very interesting problems indeed.