Feeds

Jimbo Wales kills 'Google killing' Wikia Search

Jet-setting dream in doubt

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Little more than a year after its debut, Jimmy "Jimbo" Wales has announced the death of Wikia Search, the for-profit operation he once billed as an antidote to the "unhealthy" search practices of Microsoft, Yahoo!, and, yes, Google.

"While I personally believe in the opportunity for free software to make serious inroads into the search space, our project, Wikia Search, has not been enjoying the kind of success that we had hoped," Wales wrote on his personal blog this morning.

"In a different economy, we would continue to fund Wikia Search indefinitely. It’s something I care about deeply. I will return again and again in my career to search, either as an investor, a contributor, a donor, or a cheerleader."

Wikia is Wales' belated attempt to actually make some money from the runaway worldwide success of Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia he co-founded under the auspices of the not-for-profit Wikimedia Foundation. A day before she perused his Willypedia, Jimbo told onetime Fox News pundit Rachel Marsden that Wikia was his ticket to the Web 2.0 high life. "I'm supposed to be designing a google killing search engine so I can buy a jet," he typed.

The project was a shameless attempt to not only piggyback on the Wikipedia name, but also to apply Wikipedia's so-called "democratic" model to the notion of web search. Wikia Search allowed everyone and their brother to control what turned up when you keyed in a keyword. Users had the power to "rate" search results, and these ratings were used to massage results accordingly.

Jimbo was under the impression that this somehow trumped the search operations of Microsoft, Yahoo!, and Google. "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."

Apparently, he still believes that. But Wikia Search is no more as of today. Meanwhile, Wikia Inc. - its parent company - lives on. Jimbo says the company is "re-directing and refocusing resources on other Wikia.com properties, especially on Wikianswers." He urges you to "Join me there to help provide freely licensed answers to all the world’s questions."

Somehow, we question whether you will. Jimbo won't get his jet unless he somehow transforms Wikipedia into a money maker. And that may happen yet. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
In the next four weeks, 100 people will decide the future of the web
While America tucks into Thanksgiving turkey, the world will be taking over the net
Microsoft EU warns: If you have ties to the US, Feds can get your data
European corps can't afford to get complacent while American Big Biz battles Uncle Sam
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.