Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Science Fiction or Reality--The Gap Is Closing

On September 27, 2010 the first public demo of a new information tool hit the Internet world generating quite a stir.  As the creators quote on their blog:  Qwiki will power many products via a platform that turns information into an experience. 

Qwiki creates on the fly from sources on the web, without any human intervention, interactive stories that currently cover more than 2 million reference terms.  Once a word or group of words about a person, place or thing is entered into the search box a Qwiki appears complete with real time audio narration that may or may not include maps, graphics, movies or animations.  Objects within a Qwiki can be clicked on for more interactive content which may include a brief bibliographic citation.  Items in a Qwiki with a small Q in the top right corner offer the reader additional related Qwikis as does a list shown below any given Qwiki. 

This new offering is in the Alpha test phase.  To date any user older than 13 can sign up to use it by invitation.  Once an invitation is accepted a simple email address and password are all that is needed to log in.  Feedback is welcome as the designers' goal is to make this the ultimate research encounter on the web.

What subject matter is gleaned from online resources to be part of any given Qwiki is noteworthy. While the experience is certainly engaging, time does pass quickly as one term is entered in after another, the potential for further development is huge and the applications necessary to power this site are mind-boggling, at this point this user is just a tad hesitate to have technology tell me what may or may not be relevant, important or worthy of my consideration. It is going to be more than a little interesting to see where this goes in the future.

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