Monday, 15th January 2007
Let's Talk Wikiseek and Wazap; Don't Forget the Intute Harvester
+ An introduction to Wikiseek.
Powerful idea, but the results of several test searches indicated to us that much work is still needed. According to a Techcrunch article, this engine links to Wikipedia articles and sites that are linked from Wikipedia. Danny has also tested the engine and shares his thoughts here.
1) We did several searches with Wikiseek this morning. Here are some results:
We were unable to find the actual Wikipedia result for Chicago. In the non-Wikipedia results, you might expect to find the official city home page, transit info, etc. We did not find any of these in the first few results. We did find a page for a great restaurant for sandwiches. Btw, when we clicked on the tag cloud for Chicago, IL, we still did not find the main Wikipedia entry for Chicago.
The Wikipedia entry for the fruit is at the top of the page but not the computer company. You'll see an entry for Apple Computer at the top of the page, but selecting this link still does not produce the Apple computer entry from Wikipedia. In the main results, we also did not find the Apple home page listed. When we continued in the Apple Computer category to the second page (something many people will not do), we did find several Wikipedia articles about Apple. However, unlike other Wikipedia articles, they were not found in a blue box.
Everyone is currently talking and writing about the television program "24". However, the first three results Wikiseek turns up have nothing to do with the television program, and none of these offers any suggestion for finding info about the program. Btw, the remainder of the results on the first page have nothing to do with the show. The Wikipedia entry for the show presently appears on the third page of results.
Of course, Wikiseek is a beta, so let's watch it and see how things develop. Btw, don't confuse Wikiseek with the recently discussed Wikisari project.
See Also: Techcrunch.
Note from Gary Price:
Gary is Director of Online Information Resources at Ask.com
We try our best to keep posts about what Ask.com offers to a minimum on RS. Just a quick few words about a couple of Ask.com features that relate to the two specialty search tools discussed above. But first, info about two other tools you might find to be of value. One of them is developed by info professionals.
1) An interesting -- and often useful -- way to search Wikipedia is with WikiWax. As you type, headings of entries are presented to you. Words in entries are rotated so word order is not an issue. You'll also see that WikiWax is available for various langauge versions of Wikipedia. Once you find an entry of interest, click to go directly to that entry. WikiWax comes from SurfWax (which is not part of Ask.com). A good example: Run a search for "24." Note the dropdown box that lists various headings with the number 24.
2) Don't forget that Intute, the amazing directory of high quality resources from the UK academic community, offers not only a directory but also "Intutue Harvester". What is it?
The harvester is created by taking each of the resources listed in the Intute: Science, Engineering and Technology database and 'harvesting' up to fifty pages from those sites. You can search across all subjects covered by Intute, or you can restrict your search to one of the four main subject areas.
So, in essence, you have a keyword engine based upon the resources that have been added to the directory. Brilliant!!!
Direct Link to the Intute Harvester!!!
Now, a few words about Ask.com and Wikipedia content.
2) Ask.com offers Wikipedia content (one of several reference databases used) for search Smart Answers at the top of web results pages.
For example, this search for Chicago offers not only an "encyclopedia" entry from Wikipedia, but also direct links to other relevant resources. You should also see a disambiguation suggestion asking searchers if they are looking for info about the music group Chicago.
Here are a few more examples of how Wikipedia content is leveraged:
+ Apollo 11
+ Leaning Tower
A Smart Answer leverages reference content that includes an episode guide from non-Wikipedia sources.
+ The AskX prototype interface also gives plenty of page real estate to Wikipedia results where available and appropriate. Here's an example.
++ All of this is in addition to the dynamically generated Zoom-related search (concept-based) suggestions.
+ Of course, many Smart Answers incorporate other useful reference tools. This result includes content from Allmusic.com.
You can also search the Wikipedia as a separate database using this interface. Some Ask Mobile search results also include Smart Answers from Wikipedia. Here's an example. Many Wikipedia-powered Smart Answers also show a related image next to the result.
3) One more note, this time regarding Wazap:
Ask.com also offers Smart Answers with information, previews and more about popular video games from several video game reference sites. Three examples:
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