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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 (opens in new tab) which strangely resembles the page that you would get on Google Finance (opens in new tab) (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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) and all automatic Zoominfo. (opens in new tab)

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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) could become the next Microsoft both in terms of Good and Bad.

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

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.