Just got my Qwiki Alpha invite. Check out screenshots from Renren (Chinese social network) “qwiki”. A qwiki is what they’re calling an article.
Things I Noticed About Qwiki:
1. You currently need a log-in, so it could be the “smart search” we’re all hoping for. Bing is integrated with Facebook, meaning the search results are personalized, but Google hasn’t quite figured out social networking yet. (See: Heat Rising: SMO post.)
2. It seems to aggregate search results from other engines, including info pulled directly from Wikipedia. (See sharing capes pic below.)
3. The friendly little robot voice may make us illiterate. Rather than pour through gads of text like on Wikipedia, a friendly robot lady voice reads off lines of information, which appear as the pictures autoscroll, like a powerpoint. You could theoretically be listening to this while commuting, etc, learning things.
4. I think it’s built in flash – just assuming because of the way graphics display. Which makes me wonder if its then searchable by other engines.
5. It keeps track of how many qwikis you’ve watched. Why? I’m assuming it’s “learning” about me, and keeping track of not only how many I’ve watched, but which ones…
6. The largest category icon is “popular topics”. This is more evidence its keeping tracking of what’s being browsed, probably instantaneously to see what’s “trending”.
7. Unlike Quora, brands definitely have the potential to represent themselves. There isn’t much content for some brands, but the pages are there.
8. Can’t confirm this yet, but the Qwikis I viewed didn’t link out to private websites. This is a problem if you want to redirect traffic to a main website. There are outlinks to source sites, including Wikipedia.
See they’re sharing capabilities:
The stranger side of Qwiki: Why does the Quora article have a screenshot of Facebook? The post calls Quora an “information market”.