WordSource, social dictionary

February 27th, 2007 at 12:00 am

Usually dictionaries and thesauruses are left for the lexicographers to populate. Online dictionaries usually simply ask for a query and the definitions are handed out. There are also some that give out etymologies and some with pictures. Moreover, Wikipedia allows users to edit and redefine anything.

Word.sc or WordSource is a (“the” according to them) Social Dictionary. Actually the first of its kind where people are allowed to add content and definitions just like wikipedia, tag, rate and discuss like any social network, and of course, add pictures. WordSource makes words a topic to talk about just like shopping, wine, cars or whatever subject of a social networks. User profiles are also available as well as. And there are also games to play including, hangman and jumble.

The site has a certain number of social functionalities, making it possible to the users to add key photographs, words and to note terms. I do not know if the fact of building a social network around a dictionary is a good idea, but good it is done. If it had not been them, somebody else would certainly have.

Aside from the social functionalities of WordSource, there is also a techinical advantage of using it over other online dictionaries. Every word is a permanent link that can be accessed by putting the word at the end of the URL. For example, to find the definition of “love”, the URL www.word.sc/love will suffice.

Moreover, older already available functions like example phrases and audio diction of the word is available on WordSource.

All in all, a social dictionary is unprecedednted so no one really knows how this will work out. Personally, I like the Wiki part of the dictionary and the Word Source Live feature that displays user submitted pictures of the word and especially that this photo submission scheme has an incentive in Word Source currency. Nevertheless, it's good to see an original idea amidst a sea of mashups and total imitations.