Qwiki turns data into stories

Qwiki is a new web service that turns your search results into a narrated presentation, complete with photos, graphs, timelines, and videos. It draws content from the appropriate Wikipedia page and uses a text-to-voice program to provide the narration.

Not sure what that means? Watch this Qwiki about building materials:

Qwiki is already being billed as a "Google killer". I suspect this is an exaggeration, but that does not change the magnitude of Qwiki's potential impact on the web. Especially once the technology grows beyond Wikipedia and can create these presentations from any online content it is fed.

Why is this a big deal?

Leaving aside the technological implications, Qwiki is potentially a big deal because most people respond better to messages delivered as stories. By creating the slideshow Qwiki feels more multimedia than a static webpage, even if both contain identical content, and the voice is close enough to human to make it feel personal. Like having someone explain a subject to you, rather than reading the webpage.

This makes it a great tool for marketing. Video is currently the fastest growing online medium, but most companies still have very small video libraries, if any at all. This is largely because of the cost of video production can get so high. While Qwiki will probably never reach the production level of a full-scale video, it will eventually allow you to, almost instantaneously, create a video version of your sales brochure or LEED sheet.

Check Qwiki out. Play around with it for a bit, get to know its features. Then go make sure the Wikipedia pages related to your products are up to date, go visit one of your clients, and show them your Qwiki.