User Interaction Consultation/Browsing

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Brief Description[edit]

Ssearching should be more interactive.

Problem it solves[edit]

The goal should be that readers enjoy exploring the Wikimedia projects to learn. This requires finding pages they are interesting to readers.


Interaction means that the reader and website exchange information during reading time. It's a process with feedback, where the reader reacts positively or negatively to the website's information.

The most basic interactive task is searching. Internet search has been historically about keyword search. This method has worked forquite a while, but is limited. Today you can't easily search for football goalkeepers who played in both English and Spanish clubs, or politicians that support copyright reform, or presidents that are children of scientists. With Wikidata, we should be abled to search for pages / subjects by filtering specific characteristics.

All that is good when readers know that they want to learn. However, part of enjoying learning is discovering unexpected things. Therefore, a second method of is automatic suggestions, where the websites compares the reader's activity with similar pages (and readers?), to show the reader suggested pages. This approach depends on the algorithm. If it's too random, results won't be interesting for the reader. It it's too deterministic, wide areas of knowledge would be ignored.

And worst of all, it's all a computer doing the job. Readers and editors should be in control of searching.

A search system I love is wiki portals. They show snippets of information on a relatively specific subject. Readers can choose the subject, and editors choose the snippets. To prevent a static page, those snippets are randomized. However, they must be maintained manually, which is a hard task. So you should do tools to automatically generate (and update) those snippets.

Anyway, I think that we are lacking a more human method of suggesting pages. And that is personal suggestions. People should be encouraged to do lists (or structures) of interesting snippets or pages, and share them with other people. We can already do that manually. But I think that there should be an integrated system, like YouTube's playlists, that is easy to read, share and update.