Searching will be more Collaborative with PathWays
Posted on November 10 2015
Ever wondered who else in the world is searching the same things online as you? What if you were able to collaborate with them too?
The first Collaborative Editor for the Research Web
PathWays is an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that would potentially allow you to see what other people were searching, even seeing the path of direct and indirect searches that led to the result. Then by connecting via the PathWays editor you could change or update the results by adding more relevant sites, similar to how Wiki users update the content on the main Wikipedia site.
At the moment the only indication as to knowing what is popular is through a site's analytics, a website checker or by looking at the search results on your favourite search engine and seeing how many results there are for certain keyword phrases. Breaking down each of these areas:
- Analytics is not comprehensive, especially when a couple of years ago the biggest search engine, Google hid incoming search results via Google Analytics.
- Website checker software is similar to analytics, they can give forecasts and trends on what people are searching for - but it's not 100% exact and depends upon the software, time of the year, country of origin and so on.
- Finally, a search engine can break down what people are searching for and give accurate results - but *who* is searching that information is always hidden.
So How Does PathWays Work?
Similar to the way Google Docs works, there will be a digital editor that lets you track sites you've navigated to. Depending on what you're searching for, the PathWays system works alongside your favourite search engine as an additional tool. After a search term is inputted, you will see a tree-like navigational path that interconnects a series of sites and links. It acts as a visible route map that displays how sought after information was found, then the information is then stored securely in a database.
Additional features include an advanced visualisation system that allows you to view each of the paths and there is also the ability to "watch" a search query that then updates the searcher when there's new paths by other PathWays users. Finally an app will be considered if the crowdfunding campaign is successful.
Huge Potential and Support with Crowdfunding
There is huge potential for PathWays, as they quote on their campaign page "Each time you search for something on the net, you will instinctively come to use PathWays to see if someone has previously found something better".
Sites and apps are continually recommending it's users to "take a look at X" or "buy Y with your purchase", but it's never been done before with the major search engines as it's done with real human beings who are collaborating together to tidy up the web, to save time and provide the best search results that are available.
The PathWays Campaign is a fascinating project that essentially will be free to use. They are raising funds to get a beta version and ready to be launched, where ultimately revenue will be made not from users but from companies via the Analytics Profile systems. The team behind this IGG project range from programmers to philosophers, all experienced in their related field's and keen to get this project kick-started - take a look!