Friday, October 13, 2006

New site: Helium

Article in yesterday's Search Engine Journal, "Helium.com : About, Yahoo Answers & Wikipedia All Rolled Into One", posted by Loren Baker. It will be interesting to see how/if this one develops. Quoting from the Helium.com description of the site's vision:

“Helium is different because it takes the chaos of user-contributed content and orders it with a trusted ranking system that dramatically improves the quality and accessibility of collective wisdom for the knowledge-seeker,” said Mark Ranalli, President and CEO of Helium. “At Helium, multiple quality responses to conversational subjects such as ‘Which Aruba resort is better?’, or ‘Tips for buying antique furniture’ are provided in rank order, making it simple to efficiently consider more than one perspective.”

The site: Helium: where knowledge rules

Will the peer review and aggregation that they describe be enough to prevent the wildly varying content quality in Yahoo! Answers that Rachel discusses?

Commentary on the site:
- ContentBlogger: "Peer review meets About.com - Helium floats an old model in a new space"
- Symbolic Order: "Helium just doesn't feel right"
- Ray Deo: "Helium: compare other people's gas"
- A Little Class on the Internet: "Helium - not just something that makes your voice sound funny"
- more via a Google blog search

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2 Comments:

At 1:32 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

I browsed a couple of the health-related topics, and the "articles" provided as responses are not what I would call quality. No refs, bad grammar, poorly written, and ideology-driven or just plain inaccurate in some cases. I doubt your average user is going to pay much attention to the rankings of these responses. Also, I think some topics don't really need "multiple quality responses to conversational subjects," such as "Why menstruation occurs." There are currently 9 "articles" on that topic, just with the writers' responses and no citations or links out to more info. Why is that necessary or appropriate? If Healium wants to stand apart on quality, they have some work (and some deleting, and editing) to do.

 
At 2:04 PM, Blogger BeckyJ said...

I just browsed through a few topics and agree wholeheartedly with your comments - the lack of references alone is a big problem, particularly when you read a piece about maintaining weight loss or adhd medications for children.

 

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