Feeds

Jimbo Wales kills 'Google killing' Wikia Search

Jet-setting dream in doubt

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
Hungary's internet tax cannot be allowed to set a precedent, says EC
More protests planned against giga-tariff for Tuesday evening
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.