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Jimmy Wales wants YOU!

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Wednesday December 27, 2006 )

In an interesting twist, many of the people who will use the engine and contribute to the project will be driven to it via Google as Wikipedia has such a strong presence in search engine rankings. I’m quite envious of the hold that Wikipedia has in Google SERPs, but I must admit it’s a really valuable resource.

If you’re interested in learning more about the search engine project and perhaps participating, you can learn more here.

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Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, is looking for people to help continue the development of a user-driven wiki-type search engine to rival industry heavyweights such as Google and Yahoo.

Jimmy states: “Search is part of the fundamental infrastructure of the Internet. And, it is currently broken. Why is it broken? It is broken for the same reason that proprietary software is always broken: lack of freedom, lack of community, lack of accountability, lack of transparency”

Many bloggers and news sources are stating that the name of this new search engine is Wikiasari; which according to the official site, is incorrect. Wikiasari was the name of a previous project. At this point in time, I don’t believe it has a name aside from “that search engine that Jim Wales and the community from Wikipedia is building”. I believe there are plans to shorten the name :).

I thought we’d finally said goodbye to the term “Google-killer” which was bandied about the media excessively a few years ago whenever a new search engine was launched; but with Mr. Wale’s new project; it’s rearing its ugly head again.

Jimmy does apear to have some external financial backing; early in 2006 he acquired millions of dollars in funding from Amazon and other Silicon Valley financiers for Wikia related projects, of which this search engine is one.

Jimmy does acknowledge that playing catch-up with Google, Yahoo!, MSN or even Ask.com will be quite a challenge, but believes Wikipedia’s reputation and transparency of how the engine operates will garner the support of not only the Wikipedia community and general users, but also the ad revenue necessary to make the project profitable.

Will he be able to achieve such a gargantuan goal? I really have no idea. It seems to be such a huge task fraught with problems similar to those facing the Open Directory Project. I do think it’s a project worthwhile keeping tabs on; after all, people rubbished the concept of Wikipedia; and its success has been nothing short of amazing. Maybe he does have the secret sauce to make this work – certainly don’t disregard it at this point :).

In an interesting twist, many of the people who will use the engine and contribute to the project will be driven to it via Google as Wikipedia has such a strong presence in search engine rankings. I’m quite envious of the hold that Wikipedia has in Google SERPs, but I must admit it’s a really valuable resource.

If you’re interested in learning more about the search engine project and perhaps participating, you can learn more here.



 

 
1 comment for Jimmy Wales wants YOU!
  1. Human-powered search is a gargantuan task, as you say. At our human-powered search site Bessed at http://www.bessed.com, we are encouraging search result additions and comments via a comments section on each topic/keyword phrase, but also use paid human editors to continually build the site out. We don’t believe volunteer editors will get the job done for a for-profit search service as Jimmy Wales is trying to build.

    Comment by Adam Jusko — December 27, 2006 @ 11:31 am

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