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Sunday, November 30, 2008

SearchWiki not a Wiki but may be Evil

Just started to look at Google's Searchwiki, recently released. It works when you do a search and you are signed in to a Google account. Allows you to re-order the results of a search, add things that were not found, and add text comments. Identified by your search results and attached to any URL.

The reordering you do only changes what you see. Yet the text comments will be seen by anyone that gets to the same commented result. First I saw this as an annotation capability, but I was wrong. Nothing like a Wiki. It is more like a comment section of a blog, but attached to a specific URL result in a Google search. You cannot search the comments. No way to make your comments private. An un-moderated comment free-for-all attached to any URL when you do a search with Google! No room for abuse there?

It has already attracted lots of what can only be called comment spam. Only Google can police comments according to their own standards? Google seems to making the assumption that commenters will be reasonable and cordial ... not likely.

You can also add your own URLs to come up when you search, so if you were using this to aggregate URLs for some search projects, you could use it to assemble what data and comments you have. Not really annotations, since the comments point to a URL, not a part of it. To effectively use this you would need to be religious in using it, creating a critical mass. Not sure I would do that.

Overall quite shaky, childish capability, with the potential of driving people from Google. I would turn it off if I could.

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