Wikia Search To Be Unveiled In January 2008

December 27, 2007 0

New Year will see the launch of open-source Wikipedia search project the company hopes will challenge Google, others…

Wikia’s oft-discussed search service dubbed as “Wikia Search,” which Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales promises will be far more transparent to users — is now set for a Jan. 7 launch — that eventually hopes to challenge Google and other established players.


“The public launch would allow general public to use the system and give their feedback about their experience.”

The Wikia Search project has assembled the basic technologies for a search engine, including a search application, search algorithm and Web crawler, but will roll to full usability only once users have vetted and qualified results, not just with humans’ ratings such as employed by digg, but through open-source implementations of indexing algorithms and other tools, using a community model akin to that of Wikipedia.

Jimmy Wales the founder of Wikipedia is the man behind the conception of WikiaSearch. He hopes to bring in the era of open source search engines and results which can be edited by humans. This new move also comes in the wake of all the success that Wikipedia has experienced. Through the Wikia Search they want to cash in on the human intelligence and achieve what the algorithms of the existing search engines cannot.

Wales said that this would enable users to see how the search results are arrived at. However, the search tool will take time to evolve, and the initial service would not match the capabilities of the leading search engines. Contributors will have to develop the search platform over time; in a similar way that Wikipedia took time to get enough entries to be useful.

The idea is to challenge the established players by offering a search service that is more transparent to end users, meaning they can see how search results are arrived at. Wales has described Yahoo and Google as opaque services that do not explain how results are arrived at.

Wales has started to invite a handful of people to test an early version of the search platform, which will be publicly launched on Jan. 7, he wrote in an email to the Wikia mailing list Monday.

Mahalo search engine, which was launched in June 2007, operates on the same principle as Wikia search project. It uses people to crawl the internet manually to look for quality sites and eliminate spam sites.

Earlier this month, Google announced plans to launch an internet encyclopedia, Knol to compete with Wikipedia. Knol is expected to allow authors to publish articles on areas of their expertise and potentially make money from their content through Google advertising.

“Wikia Inc. was started in 2004 and has received investment money from Amazon.com and Bessemer Venture Partners.”