In my last article I introduced you to Wikimarks. I explained you that Wikimarks is a customizable search engine, that it is run by Linterweb, and that it makes it possible to perform searches on social network and bookmarking accounts (Delicious, Netvibes, Twitter, Google Reader, Identi.ca, Digg, etc.). I told you too how Wikimarks works, how you can settle your own Wikimarks search engine, and how to use it once settled.
Today I’d like to describe you only but a few of the numerous possible applications of Wikimarks.
First, you must know that sharing your custom Wikimarks search engine with your acquaintances or your friends is a very easy stuff. All you need to do is to share the URL of your Wikimarks search engine with them (each Wikimarks search engine has a dedicated URL, and Wikimarks search engines are public).
It’s cool, as it will allow you for instance to set up your Wikimarks search engine together with other people, who will then be able to help you to improve your search engine.
For instance, let’s imagine that you’re an history teacher. Then you can draw up on your Wikimarks search engine a list of good web links with regard to your course, so that your pupils can perform searches on websites that are really relevant with your course, websites especially selected by you. Other colleagues history teachers can join and participate to the elaboration of the list as well. Or, why not, the whole community of all history teachers of your country, in a common effort at a national level (I’m not dreaming, such projects are already run in some countries!). Or, not only the history teachers of your school, but also all other teachers too (maths, physics, literature…).
Thus you can set up specialized search engines: one for the physics course, one for the maths, one for the tennis club, one for the film society, etc.
A big advantage is that your customized search engine won’t have its results overwhelmed by spam links. All links are relevant, since they have all been selected by you. Unlike normal search engines, that usually return loads of spam links (for instance run with a classical search engine a search on the term “Computer”; likely, most of the results returned for this search will be links to websites of computer retailers; which is not necessarily what you want for other search terms, you will often get links to pages that are mere copies of Wikipedia articles, as you have probably already noticed; so irritating!! ).
Now, if you feel like you have set up an especially good search engine for a given subject, you may want to share the URL of your search engine with friends or relatives, so that they can use it and enjoy it too. In addition, they will be able to give you a hand to improve your search engine.
Finally, if you run one or several websites on your own, Wikimarks allows you to show only results of your websites, as if you had a hand made search engine for your websites.
The current version of Wikimarks is still a beta version, and a lot has to be done yet, but we hope you’ll want to give it a try and let us know your feed back on our blog.
Take care Matthieu.
Linterweb is a web company that, for now several years, has been developing various Wikipedia oriented programs, including:
- Wikiwix, a semantic web search engine that gives only results out of the databases of the Wikimedia Foundation projects; My Wikiwix, your own search engine for your own website; wikiwix.mobi, a mobile version of Wikiwix;
- Okawix, the offline Wikipedia browser free of copyrights and free of charge that allows you to read offline the articles of the various Wikimedia Foundation projects, as well as archives of your own website;
- a DVD of around 2000 articles from the English speaking Wikipedia; a USB flash drive that contains the version 0.7 of the English speaking Wikipedia;
- a program that archives the external web pages of the Wikipedia articles (that is, the web pages outside Wikipedia but linked from a Wikipedia article), so that their content remains available and that those external links don’t get broken; this program is used automatically, in particular, for all external links of the French speaking Wikipedia.