Wikia Search, the people’s search engine from the workshop of Jimmy Wales, has unveiled a platform that allows the creation of applications and customization of search results. The platform is called WISE (short for Wikia Intelligent Search Extensions), while an application created on the platform is called a WISEapp.
Something similar has already been developed by Yahoo in the form of SearchMonkey, however, Yahoo’s search platform is still pretty much in closed beta stages, although some of it - for example, the search app gallery - is visible to everyone.
Wikia, however, has immediately opened up its platform to everyone. It’s not surprising; Jimmy Wales likes to go public with his projects as soon as possible, although in the case of Wikia Search this has backfired somewhat, initially resulting in a slew of negative reviews.
“While others have announced they’re simply ‘experimenting’ with allowing user input on search results, the Wikia Search project continues to seek ways to provide unmatched levels of input from users. Today we’ve taken another significant step in that direction and firmly believe anyone who uses our search tool will find the results better for it,” he said.
A WISEApp, simply put, enables the creator to customize the search result, giving some extra information to the user and possibly eliminating some extra steps that one might need in order to obtain this info. Digg’s WISEapp, for example, displays the latest popular stories on Digg related to the search keyword. As I noted when I wrote about Yahoo SearchMonkey, while this is an interesting initiative, one has to wonder if uniformity of search results is something that should be scorned or praised, as it is sometimes easier to skim through data whose organization you’re familiar with.
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