Skip to Content

Qwiki - A Multimedia Knowledge Engine.

The author

Epiphany Search

<h2>What is Qwiki?</h2> Well, at the moment it’s a multimedia search engine that’s very much in its infancy, using information and images from Wikipedia, Panoramio and Flickr. It has been designed as a postmodern way of presenting information - putting aside the typical text based knowledge resources to bring you a truly unique experience. It’s been in production for some time and was first showcased to the world last year, finally being released to the public in an alpha stage in January 2011.

What is Qwiki?

Well, at the moment it’s a multimedia search engine that’s very much in its infancy, using information and images from Wikipedia, Panoramio and Flickr. It has been designed as a postmodern way of presenting information - putting aside the typical text based knowledge resources to bring you a truly unique experience. It’s been in production for some time and was first showcased to the world last year, finally being released to the public in an alpha stage in January 2011.

How do you use it?

You enter a keyword or two on the home page and it will give you a list of best match results. You choose the result that best matches your query, then sit back with the volume up and listen to a futuristic computer woman tell you everything ‘she’ knows about your query, while simultaneously showing you a visual presentation of related images. Once you have received the information and have listened to it, you can view other related terms or forward your findings to friends via Facebook, Twitter or email. Furthermore, it gives you the ability to embed the search on your own website, like so: [iframe width="640" height="350" src="http://www.qwiki.com/embed/Wesley_Snipes"]

The Future of Qwiki

To make a quick judgement about Qwiki in its current stage would be very naïve.  At the moment it’s hard to look past the fact that all it does is read out Wikipedia to you. We have to look beyond that and think about the potential of the idea. Would it be better to have a search engine that can gather all the information on the internet for you, and give it back in a more stimulating way? The simple answer is yes. However, the question is can they do it? The current founders and backers of Qwiki have enough collective power and knowledge to drive Qwiki rather far. The biggest among them being Eduardo Saverin (Facebook co-founder), Jawed Karim (YouTube co-founder) and Louis Monier (Alta Vista co-founder) – the latter of which recently departed the project. However, I can’t quite shake the feeling that in order to become one of the ultimate hubs of knowledge, they’re either going to need to partner with someone, or they’re going to need to be taken over completely. Brad McCarty of The Next Web shares my sentiment, believing that Qwiki is ripe for the picking for a company like Microsoft – the perfect companion to their already blossoming visually dynamic search engine, Bing. So, give it a try and see what you think!