Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Is Wink the Answer?

In my last post: "New Service that I'd like to see in 2006," I may have overlooked Wink as the answer to this problem. Wink is ambitious, and IMHO a great idea, but needs momentum, which, judging by the amount of coverage it is receiving right now, will not be a problem. Unfortunately, momentum now is not as important as momentum once it starts working. I've been trying for a few days to sync my bookmarks from del.icio.us, and have received an error message every time.

But wink is much more than a way to track bookmarks across multiple platforms (or at least it's supposed to support multi platforms soon); it is also a whole new way to look at search. Similar to what I was thinking about in my 1st post on del.icio.us, Wink uses the power of people to create, what I believe, is a better formula for relevance than any algorithm will ever deliver. For example, if I want to find a great article on a new css trick, I will have much better luck searching del.icio.us, than I would Google. Del.icio.us, will bring up fresh results that have been tagged the most, Google will bring up champions of the SEO game, which usually means pages that have been around for awhile, that may or may not have what I'm looking for. Google's link based algorithm is great, but people are better at determining a good resource than algorithms.

Thus the evolution of the web continues, but is it an evolution or a devolution? It seems that more and more evolution in terms of the web means relying on humans rather than machines to determine what is important. Sites such as digg, del.icio.us, lopico, judy's book, and amazon's mechanical turk, are all aimed in some way at tapping humans rather than machines as a resource for determining relevance or for answering questions.

Perhaps this is what web2.0 really means, the building of an entirely new information retrevial system based on humans and social interaction. Old methods are new again.

2 comments:

eric goldstein said...

That is a great post about what this notion of web 2.0 is all about! I strongly support your statement that people are better at determining a good result than algorithms!! I also completely agree with your perspective that what we're really looking at here is a totally new way to look at search.

ycc2106 said...

I think it's easy to overlook, since I started looking around (and even stated a poll) I have discovered not less that 36 social bookmark services with tagging and more! I'll list them in my blog soon.