Photo: Flickr user lifeontheedge

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A plea

I'm working on a digg/reddit style wikipedia filter called wikimouse (basically a sort of perpetual motion machine for the wikisnips section of this blog), but I've hit a wall. I have a borderline-unusable prototype built, but I'm not a programmer, and I really can't figure out this ruby on rails stuff by myself, even with tutorials. If anyone wants to help, drop me a line or leave a comment.

Here's why I think wikimouse would be incredibly cool:

1. There are more great, quirky, insight-provoking wikipedia articles than any individual could blog in a lifetime.

2. We won't need to worry at all about spam prevention, self-promotion, etc., which cuts down the workload a lot -- if users are only allowed to link to wikipedia, all that stuff is taken care of already inside the wikipedia project. Basically, there's a floor on how bad the user-submitted content can be, and no ceiling (or is it the other way around?).

3. It could be an open-source, non-profit project on donated server space, but if it's for-profit, it would be cool to programatically generate merchandise based on the wikipedia article text (I've already written a program that does this). That means we don't have to bog down the site with banner and text ads (which wouldn't work too well anyway, since the content is very diverse).

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