January 2, 2008 7:13 AM PST

Wikia Search to offer first peek next week

Wikia Search, a community-driven search engine, will get its first public preview on Monday, according to co-founder Jimmy Wales.

In an e-mail sent to the Wikia Search mailing list on December 24, Wales wrote that he aims to make the initial version of the search tool available in alpha form. "We want to run over the system with help from people to complain about what is broken," he wrote.

Wikia Search, which aims to allow people to contribute to how pages are ranked and to edit search results, will have open-source search algorithms and application program interfaces. The search platform includes the Grub search project, acquired by Wikia in July, which employs user-donated distributed processing power to crawl the Web.

Wales, who also co-founded user-generated online encyclopedia Wikipedia, hopes Wikia Search will eventually rival other search companies by making the way in which search results are arrived at more "transparent."

"The desire to collaborate and support a transparent and open platform for search is clearly deeply exciting to both open source and businesses," Wales said in a statement in July. "Look for other exciting announcements in the coming months as we collectively work to free the judgment of information from invisible rules inside an algorithmic black box."

Wikia Search is part of Wikia, a wiki-hosting company co-founded by Wales.

Tom Espiner of ZDNet UK reported from London.

See more CNET content tagged:
Jimmy Wales, search tool, open source, search result

4 comments

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Wikia-search
I hope it does work. I have been using Google but with the Doubleclick deal, I'm searching for a new searcher. ;)
Posted by royc (78 comments )
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Best par is the 'open' search logic
This 'open' logic will ultimately best google. Imagine the advantages in using open source search logic in personal information managers like zoho, and edeskonline.
Posted by Sanjiv Swarup (11 comments )
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Wikia is just a weak copy of Anoox
1st, this Wikia search is a complete copy (theft of IP & idea) of AnooX which pioneered the "people powered search engine". You can see anoox here:
www.anoox.com

2nd, Wikia search does not really work in regard to people powering its search results.
That is it is nothing like how Anoox easily & transparently allows people to affect the search results by simply clicking on the button next to each listing to move it Up, Down, etc.

3rd, what makes Anoox great is not only that Anoox allows people to democratically generate the search results, but it is also the following aspects of Anoox:
1- Anoox is operated on a Not-profit-motivated basis, so cost of Advertising on Anoox is much lower as a result,
2- People who make Anoox their preferred search engine can share in Anoox Ad revenues
3- Anoox is operated on a new Open source license model in an Open fashion
Posted by Dean_Ansari (61 comments )
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Wikia approach involves building a whole new community
Looks like the Wikia approach involves building a whole new community in order to build up the relevance of search results. Instead of starting on a clean slate, how about leveraging on the current leading social bookmarking communities (e.g. del.icio.us) to enhance the combined metasearch results from the major search engines (Google, Yahoo! Search, Windows Live Search)?

Check out a new web search service called
FuzzFind.com (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.fuzzfind.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.fuzzfind.com</a>) that does this. Results are grouped together and sorted according to the search engine rankings plus the popularity of the sites according to the social bookmarking community.

There's also a feature to allow you to tune and personalize the search results on-the-fly by simply adjusting the weight for each search source through the use of sliders.
Posted by fuzzfind (1 comment )
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