Feeds

Jimbo Wales kills 'Google killing' Wikia Search

Jet-setting dream in doubt

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
Analysts: Bright future for smartphones, tablets, wearables
There's plenty of good money to be made if you stay out of the PC market
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.