RB Search Gizmos

Turn a Wikipedia Page Into a Contact Directory With RoloWiki

When you want the official Facebook account or the LinkedIn for a famous person, what do you do? A quick Web search? It’s either that, ask a friend, or try to guess.

But there are other places that have that kind of information too, like Wikipedia. And if you’re looking to get such data on many people in the same category — lists of CEOs or active politicians, for example — Wikipedia might be a faster option. But how do you extract the data without doing a lot of poking and clicking and spending much more time than you would with a Web search?

I like this question. I answered it with RoloWiki ( https://searchgizmos.com/rolowiki/ ).  RoloWiki lets you specify a Wikipedia article and then shows you the content of that page. The difference is that the internal links to other Wikipedia pages are replaced with a function call that extracts a predetermined list of available Wikidata properties about that Wikidata entity. Here’s how to use it.

Using RoloWiki

Start using RoloWiki by entering the name of a Wikipedia article and clicking the button. The default value is “List of chief executive officers” so let’s stay with that.

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When you click the button RoloWiki will show you what looks like a regular Wikipedia article, though the formatting is different and the edit links don’t work.

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See someone interesting? Click on their name. A box will open in the upper right corner providing additional information on them. RoloWiki looks for a number for Wikidata properties – first and last name, date of birth, occupation, official website, Library of Congress reference ID, Wikimedia Commons category, LinkedIn ID, Facebook account, and Twitter account. (Bear in mind that not all accounts have all Wikidata properties available.)


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The Wikidata Properties box stays in the upper corner of the page to minimize interfering with your browsing

Isn’t that nice? You can turn Wikipedia pages into mini contact directories.

Because of the Wikidata properties being people-oriented, RoloWiki is best for people search, but you can search for companies and institutions as well. Apple doesn’t work because it’s too ambiguous, but other companies work fine:

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