Wikipedia to include more Social Network features

You can't ignore Wikipedia. According to Alexa, the web's open encyclopaedia is the 8th most popular website on the internet, ranking just below to Facebook although it has the lowest full time employee headcount of the top 20.

Jimmy Wales, its founder, unveiled the first screenshots of his new pet project yesterday. After, Wales provided to an attentive South African audience, a sneak peek of what's coming next: a social network like environment.

The slide which strangely resembles the page that you would get on Google Finance (see Intel's example) except that the page displays the profile of an individual rather than a company.

On the profile page, one can read tabs for profile, photos, friends, account and privacy, just like those you would get on Facebook plus you get others like Work Information and a Bulletin Board Frame.

Matthew Buckland who broke the news says that it might be some kind of search/social networking hybrid but which would carry Wales' ethos high - transparency and openness.

The project plays the role of a personal information aggregator, a mix between all manual Linkedin and all automatic Zoominfo.

At the moment, there is little interaction in between Wikipedia users apart from the process of creating and maintaining a document.

In the past, Wales bashed Myspace and openly expressed its admiration for Facebook, saying that the company would be the long term winner in the Social Networking sites although he recently mentioned that Facebook could become the next Microsoft both in terms of Good and Bad.

Mashable already has a name for the project - SocialPedia - and believes that Jimmy Wales has a winner if he can emulate the meteoric rise of Wikipedia.