Recent Articles

Making A Reference Page From Several Resources: Mashpedia

Over at MakeUseOf I read about a recently-launched resource called
Mashpedia. Though it might sound like a wiki for potato recipes, it is actually a cool tool from gathering reference information from several places into one easily-scanned page. It lives at

The front page shows you some hot searches but you can also do a keyword search. This is topical searching, so think directory-level searches, not anything complicated like you might do for a full-text search engine. I did a search for Ben Franklin.

The resulting page pulled together a variety of information for me, including Wikipedia details, videos from YouTube, two tabs’ worth of content from Digg, a Twitter feed, photos from Flickr, what looks like feeds from Google News and Google Images, and even a book search result. Every set of information resides in its own collapsible section; you can also set sections to show only one result or to show all results (the “all results” actually paginate so you’re not going to get a giant scrolling page.)

Now, the search for Ben Franklin had mixed results. On the other hand, it started off with a great Wikipedia article, the quotes pages in the Web results were good, his autobiography popped up in the Google Books section, and there were actually a lot of relevant YouTube and Flickr results. On the other hand the name “Benjamin Franklin” has bene used for so many things that there was a lot of gunk in the results as well. I tried a second Mashpedia search for something less ambiguous — Butler University (congratulations on your great NCAA basketball season.) These results were much more focused, except the Digg results were a little odd (looked like the words were being searched for separately.)

This would make a handy quick reference. It could be even handier if some of the searches could be focused more for ambiguous terms (it might be tough, though.) I also wonder if some of Yahoo’s Web services wouldn’t be a wonderful match for the existing offerings here? I’m thinking specifically of the Term Extraction Service.

About ResearchBuzz (3289 Articles)
News and resources covering social media, search engines, databases, archives, and other such online information collections. Since 1998.
%d bloggers like this: