E-Marketing in Minneapolis David Vinge, eMarketing Dashboard : Community Powered Seach Engine

Friday, February 15, 2008

Community Powered Seach Engine

Wikia's new user-powered Wikia Search launched on January 7, 2008. It is a starting point for a community-driven search engine.

The team who led the development just release a statement saying "We are aware that the quality of the search results is low. Wikia's search engine concept is that of trusted user feedback from a community of users acting together in an open, transparent, public way. Of course, before we start, we have no user feedback data. So the results are pretty bad. But we expect them to improve rapidly in coming weeks, so please bookmark the site and return often."
A unique feature of this search engine is the "mini articles" that appear at the top of popular search terms. For an example of an user contributed mini article (guess who?) search for "Onan" and click on the "expand" link.

The open-source aspect has some troubling possible side effects that could also be compounded by the nature of Wikia Search. The highly popular Wikipedia suffers from credibility issues because the community is not always a reliable source for authoritative information.

Unbiased search results could be hard to find once search marketers fnd a way to "spam" the index with Viagra links connected to every search term.

There is potectial for use in corporate intranets where the profiles of contributors would be visiable and lead to better self regulation, or embarassment. Having people vote and influence which documents are the most important for each search is a good thing.

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