Is there any information domain where the open, world-writable wiki model can't be beneficially applied?
We're sure to find out, as wikis and wiki-variants appear everywhere.
When frustrated with DMOZ, I've often wished for a more radically open web directory, with submissions and categorizations from anyone, at any time, like a wiki. Community moderation would curb the worst abuses.
Those wishes have been answered: the latest from the folks behind Wikipedia is Wikia, which applies the wiki philosophy to a search index of web sites.
It's very nascent. It appears to be more of a site directory -- like the early Yahoo and then DMOZ -- for now. But as it grows, it could take on more comprehensive search-and-ranking functions.
Why not let any contributor instantly add sites -- even individual pages within sites -- and reorder the results of any search based on users' perception of sites' appropriateness to the query? Well, spammers and system-abusers and ranking-wars, I guess. But could open feedback systems be devised that keep those problems suitably in check? It's worth a try!
After entering a couple sites into Wikia, I think it could take some ease-of-keyword-tagging lessons from del.icio.us.
Also notable: Wikia is not a project of the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, but the software and database are available under open source/open content licenses, and "[a] percentage of profits of Wikia are intended to be donated to the Wikimedia Foundation."
Hi Gordon. I also found Wikia and had the same feelings about it - too restrictive. The trulyopendirectory is open, but plagued with spam, too many adds, and a difficult to navigate interface. So I launched one too - also based on wikimedia software. Take a look at Wikidweb, "the wiki directory of the web". I'd love feedback and constructive criticisms. I am implementing some different solutions for spam, and will keep it very open and editable in true spirit of the wiki form.
Thanks for contributing. We agree with you that there's a bunch left to do to make wikis easier to use. The World Guide is intended to be open so people can add as many links as are relevant, so I think your Yahoo analogy is a good one. I encourage you to come back and help us build it! If you have specific technical ideas, my username is Gil and I'm the CEO - so I'd be delighted to brainstorm with you.