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Wikia Search Bows Out for Now



It’s hard enough to go up against the like of Google when the economy is humming along. Add in the fact wikiasearchthat Google is so far in the lead in search it may just be downright discouraging to potential competitors due to the mountain they need to climb to compete. Giving a nod to the economy, it was announced today that Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia fame was shutting the effort down for now.

Designed to be a search engine of the people the Wikia Search service was developed with the idea of allowing users to determine the rankings of sites and pages for all other users. As reported at cnet, Wales was prepared to look at this as a long term project but usability for the public was one or two years away from reality. Considering the state of the economy it was decided to put the project to rest but Wales said that he would return to it when the economy got better.

Wales summed it up like this

In a different economy, we would continue to fund Wikia Search indefinitely. It’s something I care about deeply. I will return to again and again in my career to search, either as an investor, a contributor, a donor, or a cheerleader.

But for now, we will be closing the doors on the Wikia Search project (as of March 31, 2009) and will be re-directing and refocusing resources on other Wikia.com properties, especially on Wikianswers. Join me there to help provide freely licensed answers to all the world’s questions.

Google has somewhat tipped its cap to the idea of giving searchers some control over search results with its SearchWiki service. Unlike Wikia Search, the reach of the searchers adjustments are not used to influence overall rankings. They are just used to further “personalize” search results for the user. Is anyone using this by the way?

  • http://www.theneave.com/blog/ Bushe

    Great Post!

    Bushe’s last blog post..Talking Shit 101

  • http://www.crearecommunications.co.uk Amelia Vargo

    What a shame that Wikia Search is being shelved for now, it does sound like it could be real competition for Google, which we really need.

    As for using Google’s personalise options, yes, I’ve used them, but only to see my sites in the number one position! A girl can dream….

  • http://www.joshchandlerblog.com Josh Chandler

    I believe both Wikipedia and Wikia Search have both become as more commonly referred to in recent weeks the “AOL of the internet”, I for one am glad that “efforts” such as Wikia Search have been ditched, but yet slightly confused that all search queries from search.wikia.com are being referred to “Wikia Answers”, the slightly more abstract version of Yahoo Answers and Mahalo Answers.

    I think we can mainly attribute the fact that Mahalo.com, Wikia Search’s closest rival in my opinion is doing marginally better at bringing in the numbers then Wikia is based on Compete.com figures because of the stronger mainstream appeal Mahalo is creating.

    Generally I just don’t know if Jimmy Wales is correctly managing the Wiki Foundation, and doing what is right for the overall company vision!

    Josh Chandler’s last blog post..Interview with YouRenew.com Co-Founder Rich Littlehale

  • http://www.akahele.org Gregory Kohs

    Strange. I said from Day One that Wikia Search would not work, because its leader isn’t reliable and transparent.

    In fact, my letter to the editor of Fast Company appeared in the second issue after the “Google Killer” claptrap cover story.

    I got called a “troll”, for being right. Once again.

    Maybe people will start listening to me now?

    http://www.mywikibiz.com/Criticism_of_Jimmy_Wales

    http://www.mywikibiz.com/Top_10_Reasons_Not_to_Donate_to_Wikipedia

    Gregory Kohs’s last blog post..Weighing the options

  • http://www.pamil-visions.net/ Mihaela Lica

    I don’t even want to start on this! I expected it – the moment Google came out with Search Wiki and the moment I noticed ads by Google on Wikia Search (Search Wiki, Wikia Search, where’s the difference? – no one seems to notice though. Makes you wonder, especially because Search Wiki appears to be a clone of Wikia Search). Am I trying to insinuate something? No, I am just saying: the media praised Google Search Wiki and practically demolished Wikia Search at launch. There was no chance for Wikia Search, despite Jimbo’s efforts.

    Mihaela Lica’s last blog post..Epiphanies, Inc. to Create Social Media Marketing Strategy