Remember Wikiasari? We reported about it back in December as the search engine Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales was exploring with. At the time, there was a screenshot floating around the Internet that was rumored to be for Wikiasari. Well, it wasn’t. We were pretty excited about the “tag bar” pictured at the top of that screenshot, and hoped that Wikiasari was going to still have some of those cool features we listed. Instead, that infamous screenshot actually belongs to Wikiseek, which will officially be announced on Wednesday.
As it turns out, Wikiseek’s prototype was called WikiSearch which was the name on the original screenshot. The purpose of WikiSeek is to search Wikipedia pages and those sites that have been linked to from Wikipedia. This is an alternative or a replacement to the built-in Wikipedia search. I’ll probably find myself using it as a replacement because it will return more relevant, quality results. And with the addition of the “linked to” websites, after doing a search you should have a great set of results to sift through (not to mention you’re less subject to spam)!
What’s even better about the results is that it includes a tag cloud which contains the Wikipedia categories containing your original search term. You’ll be able to filter your results by clicking on the categories that you feel would be most appropriate (you’d do this using the “tag bar” up at the top). The first three results on every page highlighted in blue are all from Wikipedia, and the remaining results are complied of the “linked to” items.
A few extras that they’ve thrown in to make searching easier for you:
- Search plugin for Firefox, IE7, and Opera
- Firefox extension that changes the way Wikipedia looks on your browser by adding a “WikiSearch” button to the Wikipedia search box.
Wikiseek was started by SearchMe who plans on additional search engines in the future. They have said that much of the revenue from WikiSeek will go to the Wikimedia Foundation which means that they’re obviously wanting to help out the Wikipedia community. I spent some time this morning doing a few searches, and it’s great. Probably the most beneficial feature is the “refine by category” using the tags up at the top. If you use Wikipedia, you’ll definitely want to check this one out.
News Source: TechCrunch