New Wikia interface enables search-results apps

Wikia Search releases an interface to let others build miniature applications to spruce up search results.

Wikia Search WISE
Wikia Search has opened an interface that lets others build miniature applications within search results. CNET News

Wikia Search has released an interface called Wikia Intelligent Search Extensions (WISE) that lets sites build their search results into custom-made applications.

WISE launched Wednesday with a number of partners offering sample "WISEapps," including AccuWeather, Digg, and The Washington Post, which built an application that can show its news articles directly within search results.

The technology is similar to Yahoo's SearchMonkey .

Incorporating the collaborative Wiki philosophy , Wikia Search lets people edit search results , including the order in which results appear. Google has begun a much narrower experiment that lets people move, add, and remove search results, but Wikia co-founder and Chairman Jimmy Wales wants to offer more.

"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," Wales said in a statement. "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."

Personally, Wikia Search hasn't changed my search habits, though I occasionally try it to see what comes up. I tried a sample WISEapp module with mixed results: a Wikia search for "buffalo weather" successfully returned the AccuWeather forecast application--but for Buffalo, Iowa, which probably isn't the first city named Buffalo on most people's search priorities. Also, retrieving search results was fairly pokey, and Google has shown that snappy results are an essential part of the user experience.

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About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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