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Eurekster Makes Swickis Wiki-er

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Eurekster released a set of Web 2.0 upgrades to its Swicki (search plus wiki) collaborative search engine to make search results more participatory and personalized.

The new "Community Features" allow swicki users to vote in favor of or against results that appear on the page. Or, if something’s missing that should be there, users can write their own search result and add it to the index.

Swicki also keeps a list of unanswered questions: terms people have searched for but said they didn’t find the answer they needed. Users can answer those questions or pose their own to their community.

“As strong and successful as general search has been over the last years, there has been increasing momentum in enabling publishers and users to collaborate to provide more relevant and targeted search—somewhat known as social search. The challenge for most has been how to provide an easy and scaleable way for users to contribute their expertise and passion for a certain area of interest,” said Eurekster co-founder and CEO Steven Marder.

“Our Swicki (search plus wiki) platform has always allowed users to contribute and collaborate just through their implicit activity; today, with the launch of these new features that allow for Q&A, voting and posting comments, we now make it really easy for users to contribute their vertical, social or local oriented expertise and really emphasize the wiki in Swicki.”

But the main goal is conquering that information gap that occurs when searchers don’t find what they’re looking for.

“The idea of using existing search technologies to build bigger, faster, fresher indexes has not lead to greatly improved search results, because people only find what they want 60-80 percent of the time,” said Grant Ryan, co-founder and Chief Scientist for Eurekster. “We want to fill the 20-40 percent void by automatically highlighting gaps in the search results and making it easy for communities that care about a topic to fill in the answers."

The company says that since the Swicki’s inception, over 16,000 Web publishers have built over 46,000 Swickis worldwide. As the user-created index grows, Eurekster is building an ad network. Because these swickis are so niche in topics, they can, potentially, offer advertisers some pretty well-targeted crowds. As of now, advertisers can purchase space on individual swickis, and soon, reports Greg Sterling, categories of Swickis.

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