With the advent of new features, such as PikiWiki, our development team has been demonstrating the vast possibilities of Pikimal as a social community. With that in mind, we talked with the designer of PikiWiki, Jason Shifflet, to see how he hopes these tools evolve.
How do you hope the PikiWiki tool is used as a part of Pikimal?
I would really love to see PikiWiki be one of many features that helps Pikimal foster a decision making and data community. The ability to have socially-sourced subjective and objective data along with community revision control provides a foundation for what Pikimal can become. Linking this crowd-sourcing with “big data” applications like Pikimal can provide a way for users to sift through the large expanse of valuable community driven data. It would become an objective way to search for relevant subjective data.
Where do you see PikiWiki headed in the future?
My plans for PikiWiki are to have a revision system along with discussion boards, so that the community can really take control of what data is “being made.” Currently, there are many social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn that allow users to share info, but what about networks that help share communities? Communities where the users are generating data exist in sites like Wikipedia and Yelp, but most of these sites do not provide the user with an objective way to sort the data the users are generating. It is my hope that the Pikimal engine can provide that objective sorting device, to allow users not to be overwhelmed by subjective information that is irrelevant to them at certain times in the decision making process.
With PikiWiki, we’re closer to providing such a tool. For example, users can contribute what they know about a product that goes beyond the objective facts that Pikimal collects. This can include product line histories or background information regarding an item. Then, through the use of Pikimal’s decision tools, users can drill down into this subjective data in order to augment their decision. Just like Wikipedia, we hope to eventually provide a community feedback loop between contributing users and the wider Pikimal community.