Hey, here's something neat. Xoops, an open source web CMS of which we are peripherally fond but don't much cover, has announced the launch of JigJak in beta.
This service mashes up blogging, social bookmarking and syndication on a community-based portal.I'm not too sure how it arranges the information but apparently the object is for users to locate good content with ease and speed, despite the fact that there's a lot of junk and wholly irrelevant stuff to sift through. Right now the service itself looks a little simple and the categories seem too broad and less-than-intuitively organized, with topics ranging from "CMS web links" to "real estate" listed overwhelmingly on the homepage.
The websites on JigJak, however, have been democratically handpicked, recommended and rated by users, based on innovations, usefulness and creativity.
According to Xoops, the platform operates thus because "humans can determine the best sites" compared to computers or algorithms. That's all well and good, but in the wake of recent news about the identities of certain Wikipedia editors, perhaps a little idealistic for our taste.
Here's the word on the street. Apparently a CalTech grad student named Virgil Griffith put together a tool called Wikipedia Scanner, which essentially enables you to trace the IP addresses of any Wikipedia editor, past or present. (This is possible because Wikipedia has vigilantly catalogued all 2.6 million editors to date.)
And according to MarketingVox, the Scanner has unearthed some less than savory -- though not altogether unexpected -- news.
Who's behind a number of deletions, unnecessary edits and propagandistic editorial add-ons? (Wait for the drumroll, please) ... big businesses. The government. And in some cases, the Vatican.
Check out Wired's Wikiwatch tool for the disturbing nonsense as it unfolds.
That's not to say JigJak doesn't have a smart idea on its hands. With the debut of a new tool like WikiScanner, of course people are going to wild out and spout conspiracy theories; that's just what they do. By and large, Wikipedia is an overwhelmingly helpful resource that probably isn't guiding us down some Big Brother-esque path of no return, and there's no reason to think JigJak won't become as information-rich as the human encyclopedia in time.
JigJak members can:
* Store bookmarks on the site to access from anywhere. You can also share these bookmarks with others - imagine del.icio.us and StumbleUpon, all smashed together.
* Build a profile page viewable by other members. You can also blog, and share those pieces with the community. JigJak tells you how many times a given post has been read. Looks like they use WordPress for this feature
* Send private messages to members
JigJak is built via the Xoops open source CMS, a platform that exists under the GNU General Public License. That means if you think it could use some improvement, Xoops is open to modification and redistribution per GPL rules. Xoops is typically installed on Internet hosts with a PHP-ready server (like Apache, par instance) and database (like MySQL).
Feeling optimistic? If I haven't rained on your parade with the whole WikiScanner meta-scandal, check JigJak out. It's actually quite worth the look-see (can you beat a site whose slogan is "Discover the best of web"? That's just too awesome).