Google vs Jimmy Wales & Open Source Search
Jimmy Wales, the founder of not-for profit Wikipedia and for-profit, San Mateo, Calif.-based Wikia is part of a growing number of people who are discomforted by the growing control Google over search. And he is doing something about it. His company, Wikia, last week bought the distributed crawler Grub from LookSmart and plans to make it available in open source. Not that Looksmart wasn’t really using it anyway, not to mention the ad business they got from Wikia.
His bet: like Linux became a migraine for the monopolist of the last generation, open source search tools will keep companies like Google honest. It is not an easy task, for it is impossible to get away from Google that is firmly embedded into our digital lives.
“Search is part of the fundamental infrastructure of the Internet. And, it is currently broken,” Wales said back in December 2006, when Wikia launched Search Wikia effort. “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.”