Feeds

Jimbo Wales kills 'Google killing' Wikia Search

Jet-setting dream in doubt

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM
In the immortal words of Shaggy, it wasn't me us ... amirite?
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.