Feeds

Wikia unsheathes antidote to 'unhealthy' Google

Jimbo: 'I am your spiritual leader'

High performance access to file storage

Jimmy "Jimbo" Wales has brought the Wikipedia ethos to his very own internet search engine. But he insists it will be far more trustworthy than search sites offered by Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft.

Today, Jimbo's for-profit Wikia operation takes the wraps off a beta version of Wikia Search, a search engine that allows everyone and their brother to control what turns up when you type in a keyword. Users have the power to "rate" search results, and as time goes on, these ratings will be used to tweak results accordingly.

As The New York Times points out, this means that anyone on earth has the power to rig Wikia Search in much the same way they can rig Wikipedia. But - as usual - Jimbo is adamant that if anyone tries to game the system, his minions will "block them, ban them, delete their stuff."

We have no doubt that Wikia will have a field day blocking, banning, and deleting all sorts of people, places, and things. The question is whether Jimbo's blinkered followers will crack down on their friends in the same way they crack down on those who don't know the secret handshake.

After all, this is hardly the case at Wikipedia.

Nonetheless, Jimbo insists that his "democratic" model is somehow a better bet than what goes on over at Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft. "I think it is unhealthy for the citizens of the world that so much of our information is controlled by such a small number of players, behind closed doors," he told The New York Times. "We really have no ability to understand and influence that process."

We would argue the opposite: The Wales mentality is far more dangerous simply because Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft don't go around telling people that everything they do has a "neutral point of view."

Google is also toying with an "editable" search engine. But at least Brin, Page, and company have the good sense to keep it away from the John Q. Public - and to stop short of using edits to influence search results at large.

In any event, Jimbo is intent on making some money from his project, something he's been unable to do with the Wikipedia, which is run by the officially not-for-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Wikia also serves up Wikipedia-like info on all sorts of random subjects, and according to The New York Times, the company has already raked in $14m in venture capital - with $10m of that coming from Amazon.

Bootnote

For years, Jimmy Wales has referred to himself as the sole founder of Wikipedia - doing his best to expunge the role of co-founder Larry Sanger. But Jimbo has now gone sofar as to christen himself the "spiritual leader of the project since day one". ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
OpenSSL Heartbleed: Bloody nose for open-source bleeding hearts
Bloke behind the cockup says not enough people are helping crucial crypto project
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Windows XP still has 27 per cent market share on its deathbed
Windows 7 making some gains on XP Death Day
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support
Gov't IT likened to 'a Model T with a lot of things on top of it'
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.