Qwiki: Making Search An Experience

Qwiki: Making Search An Experience

By: Shelly Kramer
March 21, 2011

Qwiki's Doug Imbruce

I read about Qwiki on the T2+Back Alley Films’ blog and have been thinking about it ever since. Qwiki was introduced during a TechCrunch Disrupt session this fall and can potentially impact search in a big way.

Oh, and when you win top honors at an event that introduces innovative tech companies to the world, well, I’m thinking people might want to start paying attention. Not to mention that during a recent financing round, one of Qwiki’s largest investors is none other than Eduordo Saverin – Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg’s one-time partner and the source for the movie, The Social Network.

Today, you type something into Google or Bing and get a list of links that you troll through looking for information that suits your needs.

Qwiki delivers interactive video presentations that pull dynamic information from a myriad of sources. They call it an “information experience” and what makes it even more killer is that each piece of information that’s pulled into the presentation is an interactive reference tool.

Qwiki’s goal is simple: to forever improve the way people experience information.

Even more exciting, at least to this social media loving geekazoid, is Qwiki’s intention to roll out products for small businesses and social media users. These tools will allow users to create Qwikis based on their social media aggregate, integrating Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc., into their personalized Qwikis. Sweeeeet. Think about it – it’s pretty cool. And yes, cooler than a Google Places page – at least from an experience standpoint.

Or, from a business standpoint, think about how a small business could integrate reviews from Yelp, Gowalla and tips from Foursquare, maybe even include information and reviews from sites like Merchant Circle into their personalized Qwikis.

People like to do more than just see and read things, and being able to dive into an interactive experience seems beyond cool to me – and I think the Qwiki development team are thinking the same thing. The T2 + Back Alley blog quotes Qwiki CEO Doug Imbruce saying that their ultimate goal is to become “ubiquitous layer that augments the traditional web” and I think they may be onto something.

Check out the Qwiki of The Eiffel Tower and you can see instantly why they hooked me. And if you want to see how social media information can be easily aggregated into a Qwiki, check out Gregory Smith’s Qwiki. And for a Qwiki related to current events, check out the Nuclear Power Qwiki and related content.

Qwiki at TechCrunch Disrupt from Qwiki on Vimeo.

As my friend and fellow tech geek Ron Callari writes, “it will be interesting to see how the grand-daddy of search, Google will react” to the goodness that is Qwiki. Visual data and results are infinitely more interesting, at least to me, than endless links and text search results. Time will, most certainly, tell.

Oh, I know, you’re already over on the Qwiki site, figuring out how to make your own Qwiki … you’re welcome! And Qwiki is in alpha testing phase now – sign up if you want to be a part of it.

Image credit: Ron Callari