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Another day, another startup splashes online. All of the Silicon Valley insiders and the beautiful people on Memeorandum have been writing about Wink.com today, so we’ll add our two cents from the heart of the Bluegrass as well.

But first, the prologue (n.) An introductory act, event, or period

Slashdot gave the tech world one of the first websites featuring user-submitted content. Digg arrived later, dispensed with the formal editorial process, and put the submittal and approval/disapproval power in the hands of users.

People who like both sites either visit both, grab their RSS feeds, or stop by SlashDigg to view both front pages side by side. Then del.icio.us/popular joined the mix, with content from all three sites blended at Diggdot.us and ended up in feed readers everywhere.

Yahoo’s My Web 2.0 (beta, natch) has been around for a few months, but more as an enclosed part of the Yahoo network, until now.

Now we get to Wink. If you’ve finally come around to accepting ‘blogosphere’ as a word, Wink wants you to try on ‘tagosphere’ too. It’s aimed at users of the four sites mentioned previously, and instead of sifting for indexed content, it looks for content that’s been tagged at Digg, del.icio.us, and Yahoo, as well as within Wink.

Google results appear when queries for tags don’t return a lot of entries on the result page. Also, Wink Answers draws from Wikipedia, and users can see the index and content entries for a tag that appears in the online encyclopedia.

Wink Answers relies on concepts to help users find disambiguated information, according to its FAQ. Terms with multiple potential meanings (the FAQ uses Star Wars as an example: movie or government defense project) each have different concepts.

Wink has the prerequisite features one expects from a Web 2.0 company: rounded corners, AJAX programming, bookmarklets, Firefox plugins, and pastel colors. They also make a feature called Collections available.

Similar to Shadows groups, Collections let users assemble related links and tags into a collection. Users can publish their Collections so other people can view it and add it to their watch lists that let them know when the collection is updated.

Wink offers site publishers with quality, authoritative content an opportunity to tag their pages and expose them to a tech-savvy, early adopter audience. The site has built a blocking mechanism to report and oust spam or bad sites from search results, according to the FAQ, but in testing with Firefox 1.5 and Opera 8.51 the symbol for blocking didn’t appear in pages I saw.


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Add to | Yahoo My Web | Shadows | Wink

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Wink At Powered People Search
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