Wikia Search Engine Goes Live Today
Search Wikia, the widely awaited search engine from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, is slated to make its official debut on Monday, with the bet that an open-source, community-driven effort can disrupt and reshape this Google-dominated market.
However, people who give the search engine a test drive on Monday shouldn't expect a Google killer, because they will be looking at a project that is at a very early stage and will need participation from volunteers to grow and be refined, Wales said.
In that sense, Search Wikia is expected to develop in a similar fashion to Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia written and edited by a community of volunteer collaborators who have expanded it and improved it organically over the years.
With Wikia Search, Wales is betting on a very different approach: transparency.
He said: "The proof will be in the pudding? I just believe that transparency is an important political issue on the web. One of the things I make an analogy to is openness in a free society, openness in a court system. I love Google, I trust Google but I still think that there's a problem with secrecy in that you never know who you really can trust."
So the way Wikia Search works is to be determined by the community of users, "Wherever there is an editorial decision we want to push that out into the community", said Mr Wales.
The new system will also allow users to rate search results according to their usefulness.