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Mashpedia: A Real-Time Encyclopedia

Thanks to ResearchBuzz, I just discovered Mashpedia.

mashpedia Mashpedia: A Real Time Encyclopedia

The real-time encyclopedia dynamically aggregates and categorizes content from a wide variety of portals and feeds. 

My search, "Haiti earthquake," let to a very useful results page which included:

  • definitions
  • Wikipedia articles
  • YouTube videos
  • a live Twitter stream
  • news links from a nice variety of sources
  • images from a variety of sources
  • blog posts
  • Google books
  • websites
  • most recent and most popular Digg links

Reaching beyond a tool like Wikipedia, a Mashpedia search yeilds a mashy, dynamic, social-networky, trending, one-page big picture view of basic content, media and recent developments.

And in true ReadWrite-style, users may comment on and add links to existing content.

The Mashpedia editors explain what the tool is NOT:

It’s not a Search Engine: Mashpedia provides articles for specific topics such as concepts, subjects, personalities, events, places, companies, products, etc., but not for more broader, unspecific searches.

Examples of specific topics (that are good for you to look for on Mashpedia)
Cloud Computing   |   Sao Paulo   |   Mark Zuckerberg   |   Rafael Nadal   |   Iphone   |   Greenpeace   |   World War II

Examples of broader searches (that you should better search for on Google, Bing, etc.)
‘coldplay lyrics’   |   ‘apartments in chicago’   |   ‘download iphone apps’   |   ‘paris hotels prices’

It’s not the old-fashioned type of Encyclopedia: Mashpedia does not maintain large archives (neither phyisical or digital) of information.

And they explain what it aims to be:

Mashpedia aims to serve as an effective medium for acquirement of this newly possible reality knowledge on any given topic, providing a full scope of substantive, factual, fresh and real-time information and content for millions of topics and themes.

Mashpedia aggregates multiple web feeds (streams of content from different sources) into structured articles about specific, encyclopedic terms, historic events and popular individuals, groups, organizations, large companies and so on (actually most terms present in the English version of Wikipedia).

I know this is going to be very, very sticky with my students.  For me, it is going to provide rich opportunities to compare and discuss a variety of information sources and demonstrate triangulation for new media.

obama Mashpedia: A Real Time Encyclopedia

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Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is the teacher-librarian at Springfield Township High School, a technology writer, and a blogger. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

Comments

  1. Franki says:

    So glad you discovered this–I had no idea! Can’t wait to hear how it goes with your students. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Kelly Brannock says:

    Resources like this one give a new and enriched meaning to the concept of “primary sources”! Looks like a great site for helping students with critical thinking, promoting global understandings, and authentic learning. I haven’t visited this site yet, but the description alone seems to make a strong case for the important role of the school librarian — someone who knows how to help students become effective users and producers of information and ideas in a dynamic global information environment!

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