So, here I was in my living room two weeks ago, and somehow on one of my infamous web quests for information I sprang across a little web site and was introduced to Qwiki.com. It had not as of yet been released to the public, but I quickly signed up both of my email accounts hoping to be a Qwiki Alpha tester. I tested a few of the demos that didn’t require sign ups and even shown a few friends my latest find. It looked like an interesting enough site anyhow. Well, early last week my invite arrived!
What in the world is a Qwiki you ask? I’ve got the answer for you. Qwiki is a new website that takes generic information on topics like “Eiffel Tower” for example and showcases a vast array of photos, information, and clippings while a female voice program reads you the information that scrolls at the bottom. It’s pretty awesome in that respect and the photos were great representations of the topics.
If you are looking for a lot of information on a specific topic, this is not the place to search. I believe the majority of people at first will look at the site and maybe use it here or there, but honestly I was a bit disappointed in the little amounts of information included (so far) on each topic. Let’s hope with time they beef it up a little.
My first Qwiki search was for information on David Bowie. Basically the voice program sounded great! The tiny bit of information they had compiled however, was a bit of a let down. They only included basic information about his career as a musician and where he was born but did not include anything about his Film career or other prospects. I think this has to do with the fact that either there is so much information to gather it takes time, or the fact that they want to limit the time of each automated clip. Either way, it was rather bland for someone looking for information for a report or large quantities of information about a certain person or place.
Being in an education field, I think this site has great potential for students wanting limited information in a focused place. Also, it would benefit second language learners greatly in that it has visuals along with spoken information about each topic. Unfortunately, I have tried to use it at work and it has already been blocked for some odd reason I am sure, yet they let other Wikipedia type sites go untouched.
All in all, I say Qwiki has some great potential. It will be interesting to see when it gets released to the public how much editing they will allow the users to add to the information or how that process would go about.
It’s in Alpha testing now but go sign up and see for yourself, or find someone (like me with unlimited invites) who already has access to Alpha and check it out!
Let me know what you think.