Wikiasari – Another Crowdsourcing Experiment

Jimmy Wales – the man behind one of the biggest crowdsourcing experiments – now wants to extend it to search (via TechCrunch).

Mr Wales aims to exploit the same network of followers and the same type of free software to create his search engine.
“Essentially, if you consider one of the basic tasks of a search engine, it is to make a decision: ‘this page is good, this page sucks’,” Mr Wales said. “Computers are notoriously bad at making such judgments, so algorithmic search has to go about it in a roundabout way.

“But we have a really great method for doing that ourselves,” he added. “We just look at the page. It usually only takes a second to figure out if the page is good, so the key here is building a community of trust that can do that.”

Wikiasari is still taking its baby steps, but there is general goodwill in the community. The goodwill is also out of existing problems with Google which has taken the search community for granted. Dave Winer expresses these sentiments most aptly:

Today Google’s profits come from ads, and that business gives them a reason to keep search weak. They want you to do a lot of searching to find what you’re looking for — and the stuff they find for you for free is competing with the stuff they make money on. So Google actually has a disincentive to make search better.

I think it is great. In my opinion spamming exploits a loophole in the current search engine algorithms, since they are purely link based. Human contribution to these algorithms can fix these loopholes and probably work as the best solution for spamming. ChaCha is another search engine which has contributions from humans, but in a different way.

Technically, the project uses one of the best open source search engine, Apache Lucene, and the associated crawler Nutch. They have already been used in some search engines, like Krugle.

I do believe in the concept behind Wikipedia, in spite of some controversies. I will be happy if Wikiasari is successful, one because I sincerely think it can solve spam problem and secondly because it will keep leading search engines like Google on its toes. Overall, it will increase quality of search results.

Discussion [Participate or Link]

  1. Search Engines Bigwigs And User Experience on iface thoughts said:

    […] if it wants to maintain the level of relevancy. There are also others that are coming up with new models. Google is experimenting, but the intention to deal with the bad guys is not apparent, nor […]

  2. What Is Google Doing With Votes? | iface thoughts said:

    […] since human powered search engines are getting noticed. There was ChaCha with search guides, then Wikiasari where you could vote for good and bad pages and more recently Mahalo where the entire search result […]

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Abhijit Nadgouda
iface Consulting
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