Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/10/21/wikia_layoffs/

Wikia layoffs ground Jimbo's imaginary jet

Google not dead

By Cade Metz

Posted in Financial News, 21st October 2008 00:34 GMT

Sad news for Jimbo Wales: He may not get that personal jet.

Back in February, when Wikipedia's self-styled Spiritual Leader used his free online encyclopedia to seduce an overzealous eBay user, he confessed the true motivation behind his for-profit Wikia venture.

A day before she perused his Willypedia, Wales told onetime Fox News pundit Rachel Marsden that Wikia was his ticket to conspicuous consumption. "I'm supposed to be designing a google killing search engine so I can buy a jet," he typed.

But Wikia hasn't taken off the way he hoped. According to Valleywag, Jimbo's you-rate-the-results search engine has laid off 30 per cent of its employees.

An anonymous tipster tells the Wag that the 43-person outfit is enduring "a hemorrhaging of cash circa 1999." Presumably, that means Wikia is losing money as quickly a startup tumbling through the (first) dot.com bust.

As Valleywag puts it, this is no surprise. "[Wikia] has offices in San Francisco, New York, and Poland, and many of its products, like Wikia Search, are staggeringly unpopular," the rag says.

Well, no surprise to anyone but Amazon.com, which put $10m into Jimbo's ill-fated attempt to actually make some money from the worldwide popularity of his free encyclopedia/online cult.

Wikia did not respond to our request for comment. ®

Update

Wikia has responded. The company says it "recently let go less than 10% of its salaried employees." And it says it's "actively hiring in sales and marketing." So if you're looking for a sales and marketing gig, stay away.