The Wikimedia search engine, a thought experiment

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The Wikimedia search engine, a thought experiment

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Our projects, our organisation is fractured. In the perception of many we are Wikipedia but in actuality there is no Wikipedia, there are over 180 Wikipedias. There are projects other than Wikipedia but for all kinds of reasons they are not known, as a brand they have little recognition. At this time we are considering how we can be our best in the future. One recommendation of a marketing organisation is to rename the whole lot and become "Wikipedia"..

Another approach is to strengthen the "Wikimedia" brand. This proposal aims to achieve exactly that.

It has been said all too often: "sharing in the sum of all knowledge.." Our knowledge is fractured like our projects and  in a "Wikimedia search engine" we change our focus from article/text centred to subject centred. This brings the result from our projects together in one display. Like other search engines, results are presented in a tabbed display. Obviously it will have images from Commons, data presentations from Wikidata, articles from Wikipedias, search results from "your" Wikipedia, dictionary content from Wiktionary books from Wikisource.. All the components we have, it is just a matter of sticking things together. This is not hard.

In the 2030 proposals we aim to collaborate widely. So what could it mean for libraries.. Why not have a tab where you can search *your* library and reserve a book. Why not point to OpenLibrary as well for books available for reading. So what could it mean for science. Obviously all the references used in every Wikipedia are known. We know about the public data in ORCiD and for all the scientists involved we have a Scholia. For all the publications we have a Scholia. For all the universities we have a Scholia. For every subject studied in academia we have a Scholia. In a next generation of Scholia the information is localised.

The "Wikimedia search engine is not only about consuming information, it is also a Wiki. People can sign on using their Wikimedia profile or a profile of one of the organisations we collaborate with. In this way a scientist may trigger an update from ORCiD and update his Scholia .. he may even update his ORCiD data from Crossref if there are new publications.  When a word, a concept is not known we will ask to provide us with the necessary meta data to possibly link it to known. When a word for a subject in a language is unknown, we ask people to link it to words for the same concept in an other language improving search. We enable people interested in pictures to upload their pictures in order to improve our coverage of any and all subjects.

The best part.. We do not have to provide all of this in one go. Our strategy aims for 2030. Having said that, I am sure that most of this can be functioning within a few months.

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