We are on for new beginnings! Just the other day I was blogging about a better Wikipedia to learn now that Jimmy Wales has big plans for his “baby”. His newest idea? To build a search engine to rival Google and Yahoo!.
Jimmy Wales believes that a collaborative search engine will change the Web and redefine the way websites will rank in the search results. The name of the new search engine is going to be Wikia and it looks like many, including Amazon Inc, support the idea.. Unlike Wikipedia, Wikia Inc. is going to be a commercial site. No wining targets have been disclosed yet, but Wales did declare that the company received $4 million (USD) from “angel investors”.
2007 seems to be the “search engines” year. Hakia, Powerset, Wikia… they all aim to knock off Google. I cannot help but wonder: who’s next?
While Hakia and Powerset will base their results (as a matter of fact Hakia already does) on the natural search, Wikia will employ a collaborative search technology. Don’t ask me how this is going to work. Right now it is pretty unclear what Wales is trying to achieve and how a human edited search is going to lead to unbiased results. We all know what happened with DMOZ and we see what happens at digg. When we give the power to the users, are they going to be impartial?
One more thing though: doesn’t it bother you that instead of trying to bring something useful on the Web all these companies seem to aim to “slaughter” an already valuable one?