It’s been a while since we rallied as a community to improve the state of information retrieval entries on Wikipedia. There are 86 entries in Category:Information Retrieval, and a number of these could use some help. But the one that strikes me as most in need of attention is the Enterprise search entry.
What is so wrong with this entry? Perhaps a better question to ask is what is right with it! But I’ll summarize my objections as follows:
- The entry is so focused on enumerating vendors that it barely even describes what enterprise search is. Yes, there is some debate about how to define enterprise search, but in that case a Wikipedia entry should “teach the controversy” as it were.
- The classification of vendors isn’t particularly informative. I don’t see how describing a vendor as a major vendor, a specialized vendor, a superplatform, etc. helps anyone understand the technology space. For example, I cannot figure out what makes a vendor “major” in this taxonomy.
- The entry seems to largely reflect the haphazard edits of vendors and their surrogates, rather than any principled analysis of the space.
So I’d really like to fix it! But, given my association with Endeca, I’m not sure how much I can do personally without drawing accusations of conflict of interest. Perhaps the readership here can help out. My goal here is not to create an entry that is some pro-Endeca or anti-Endeca’s competitors. In fact, I have half a mind to remove all specific vendor references, or perhaps to move them to a separate List of Enterprise Search Vendors entry. What I really want to see is an entry that helps people understand what enterprise search is.
Please chime in if you are interested in being part of this effort. I’m happy to pitch in myself, but I feel the effort has to be collaborative in order to address the understandable concerns about conflict of interest.