One of the major reasons for the success and popularity of the internet has been due to social networks like Facebook. However, I rate Google’s contribution to this extra-ordinary celebration of internet more than any other internet real-estate till date, even more than e-mail. I could be partial though, for one reason; I am not social-savvy. I have only 170 odd friends in my Facebook account. But I do have a coherent argument for my ratiocination. Searching information is an elementary need that was not well catered until Google got invented. I remember, as a child I had so many questions, in my mind- questions which sometimes my parents and teachers did not know the answers of. I remember how I would spend hours searching for those answers in my school library. Now when I think of those days, I feel like I was living in poverty. Google is like the electricity of the 21st century.
Some may argue Facebook gets information too. I agree. The information brought to you by Facebook is equally important if not less. But it is curated by your social circle, it is real-time and I am more than convinced that this is the future. But we would still need ‘conventional search-engines’ right? It is safe to say that Google is a conventional search engine, now that it is more than a decade old. So is Bing too (because it’s still not very different from Google!) None of Google or Bing have done well in the real-time search. But then who has? Twitter? I believe we still do not know how real-time search is going to get unfolded. So we have to be patient for a while until someone does an incredible job. Are there any other threats to conventional search engines? I think so.
Apple bought a company a couple of years back called, Siri. While conventional search engines are busy bombarding you with results, Siri takes decisions on your behalf. E.g. if you are looking for a cab, you need to search for an operator, then choose one and only then can you make a call. A search with Siri would simply get the cab on your way with a single click (it works on iPhone). Amazing! People go to sites like Yelp in USA and Burrp in India to find restaurants. People are going to specific apps to find specific information. When I was at college, I used to write technology papers to participate in competitions, conferences etc. 95% of the time I was on internet was spent on searching scholastic content that would help me write papers. When I joined one of the start-ups incubating at my college campus in 2nd semester I saw the developers do only a couple things on the internet: Facebook and post coding questions. I noted that my friends too spent a lot of time on the internet to learn cool new stuffs. So a question struck my mind- is Google the end of hope for all those people who use internet as an alternate source of learning? I bet there is a hell lot of people out there spending hours in the internet to learn things. There is Twitter for real-time search. Apparently. Yelp for restaurants. Siri too. And there are no search-engines for learning purposes, even though there are like 500 million to 1 Billion people using internet to learn? Crap!
We were looking for a solution to this problem. After a couple of months spent on ideating and then a few more on refining and writing experimental codes, we hit on what ‘Wisely’ shall be known for when we launch it in August, 2011. Our vision is beyond spreading social wisdom. We are working towards becoming the knowledge search engine of the world, putting processes and technologies into play that were never ever tried before to achieve what we are trying to do. Our vision is not limited to creating an application for searching ‘learning-content’, but goes as far as developing a platform that opens learning institutions, connect internet users with relevant content across multiple networks and help developers create beautiful applications using our APIs to enhance our distribution and content generation channels. A wide reach of Wisely would ensure even greater participation. More participation means more collaboration. Wisely is not becoming a virtual university. Wisely is a place where everyone can come to learn whatever they wish to and share whatever they know in incredibly human ways. Wisely is a celebration of open-source education and social power.