back to article Wikia unsheathes antidote to 'unhealthy' Google

Jimmy "Jimbo" Wales has brought the Wikipedia ethos to his very own internet search engine. But he insists it will be far more trustworthy than search sites offered by Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft. Today, Jimbo's for-profit Wikia operation takes the wraps off a beta version of Wikia Search, a search engine that allows …

COMMENTS

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  1. Jeroen Braamhaar
    Go

    Wiki-tology ? ?

    Looks like not just 3-rd rate SF writers can start quasi-religious cults ...

    I predict that in a few years Jimbo will be offering courses towards enlightenment - where your progress is rated, of course, by others, but maintained, preserved and garantueed by very modest, fair and even-handed people - preferably, of course, in secret communion with the fearless leader through secret mailing lists and able to modify, change, delete or promote anyone's status depending on the temperature of their coffee ...

    or I could just be cynical ...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Bush search

    Try searching for George Bush and take a look at what you find.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    21st century searchalism

    When is Jimmy due to travel to Venezuela for a sit-down with his fellow traveler Thuggo Chavez?

  4. Mark Allen
    Go

    This is good...

    Don't you see? This is good. If he tries to compete with Google, they will demote his site in their search results, giving them less traffic. So wikipedia will just disappear even quicker. And wiki-search will only really be used by whakipedians.

    I was a little worried by this sentence: "We really have no ability to understand and influence that process."

    Why does he want to influence the search results?

  5. Andy Bright

    Half right

    It would be fine if user ratings only applied to your own searches. in other words you log into a Wiki or perhaps a Google user account, and your search ratings were saved for your own use.

    Obviously there are some pretty huge flaws with this if Google or Wiki don't stand by pretty strict privacy standards.

    The feasibility of creating such a system has already been proven, you can ask a few people in Chinese prisons all about Google and Yahoo's ability to store search results.

  6. Subtilior

    You've got a Friend in Jimbo

    See the Reverend Horton Heat for more details.

  7. Dr Stephen Jones
    Thumb Down

    That's all we need

    SlimVirgin hand-sorting my search results.

    I bet that will be fair, impartial and above board.

  8. Jach
    Thumb Down

    Wiki Bombs

    Takes Google bombs to a whole new level.

  9. lglethal Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    spiritual leader of the project?!

    Translation: The guy who provided the coffee from Day 1 but actually accomplished nothing that can be considered useful or usable content/coding. ie. A Twat!

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Chris Peterson
    Joke

    Wikia is a joke

    Search for "wikipedia" and none of the first 100 search results include any link to en.wikipedia.org?! I gave up looking any beyond 100 results.

    http://re.search.wikia.com/search#wikipedia

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    "Wiki-tology ? ?"

    Yes, it's sad but probably quite true.

    Thetan-wikis stole my results!!

  13. Gregory Kohs
    Alert

    It took them over a year to produce THIS?

    I recall the first press releases for Wikia Search rolling out back in December 2006. This is what 13 months of low-paid labor got us?

    Anybody remember Jimbo's other wildly successful project -- Openserving.com? How is that one coming along now?

  14. mr.K

    Jimbo and his brain

    "What are we gonna do tonight, Brain?"

    "Same as we do every night, Jimbo: Try to take over the web." and then Brain added: "MOHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

  15. Alan Donaly
    Joke

    Uhh where is it?

    I googled for it I can't find it.

  16. Andy Worth

    Search results....

    Well, if it's based on Wankipedia, what you receive as the results of your search will be dependent on the approval of a 12 year old who has managed to climb the internal "ladder" within the admin collection. So for example certain sites will cease to exist simply because the administrator in charge of that particular section "does not like them" - regardless of their relevance to a search.

    At least that's how Wankipedia works at the moment - facts and information can cease to exist if the admin decides it's not true (or simply disagrees with their own viewpoint), however ill-informed said admin might be.

  17. Smell My Finger

    Computing power?

    Even if this does take off, where does the money come from to build the data centres for a not-for-profit? Google Adwords?

  18. Joe Stalin
    Happy

    Spiritual Leader

    Does that mean he takes the glory but not the blame?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Bush

    'I tried the above suggestion to search for George Bush, only to find that apparently "George Bush is a crackwhore!" (top search result). So I tried to rate my search result, with the handy-dandy stars, only to have a little popup window tell me "Sorry, these don't actually do anything yet" '

    Indeed - which begs the question - how did that get to the top of the list?!

  20. Nick Palmer
    Black Helicopters

    From Jimbo in the NYT...

    "“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 said. “We really have no ability to understand and influence that process.”"

    Yes, Jimbo, but that's the way you set the damn thing up...oh...you WEREN'T talking about Whackyfreakia? Ooops...sorry, my bad...

    P.S. Can we have a Jimbo/Thetan icon for Wikitology comments...?

  21. Andy
    Thumb Down

    I searched for "instant messaging"

    ...and got no results.

    I *did* get an invitation to write my own result, though(!)

    I think maybe I'll come back when it's less silly.

  22. Rob
    Go

    This is a good idea...

    ... as eventually you'll have a group of people who swear by Wikipedia and Wikisearch which will keep them out of the way of the rest of us.

    Just think of all the twats we could shuffle off to Wiki land with their Apple Laptops and iPhones, leaving the rest of us to surf the net without hitting a blog of needless verbal diarrhoea.

  23. Pete James

    Please fold and not staple the reply form

    When Wiki first appeared I though it had the basis of a fairly good idea. Time has sadly only proved that egos and bias can all to easily mutate such a thing into a pretty nasty little animal that deserves only to be taken round the back and quietly shot.

    I do find the continuing use of the word 'democratic' by Wales to be rather ironic in the light of the machinations of this project. Maybe it's some sort of wikijoke?

  24. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    taken round the back and quietly shot

    No, no. It needs to be taken round the back and very noisily shot with hundreds of rounds of very high explosives.

  25. BreakingWind

    BreakingWind

    Personally, I think there's altogether too much green-eyed malice being endlessly tossed around by all and sundry aimed at the whole Wikipedia 'family'... I bet sour-grapes never tasted so good as those savoured every day by Jimbo...!

    Wikipedia is just fine. I'd even go so far as to say it's the best in the business. If I want to know something, I know I can find it in a minute and always get by far the most reliable info from Wikipedia.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Wales' stubborn ignorance

    He is quoted by El Reg as saying "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,"

    Har har. What does he think of Wikipedia then?

    Pot calling the kettle black if all the allegations about Wikipedia are true; and if they are true then despite his claims of transparency, the pigs rule animal farm.

  27. dee gaston

    Unhealthy indeed

    ... and politically motivated in some instances, I'm afraid.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Cause for concern

    In the highly unlikely event that Wikia becomes thought of as a reliable search engine by a large enough amount of people as to constitute the 'great unwashed' (I read this term in a broadsheet and liked it, so I'm using it); then this could seriously present a problem.

    If a 12 year old Wikitologist Admin Elite (or Level 9 Wiki-Thetan) decides that we are not allowed to view certain websites because he/she disagrees with them and only allows folk to see what he/she wants them to see when they look up information on stuff that might influence their views in life then...

    ...the consequences are unthinkable!

  29. Mark O
    Happy

    Bush search

    I don't think the George Bush search result is any sort of conspiracy by Wales and his people. Try it on Google - I got GoogleNews articles followed by Bush's Wikipedia entry and his official site (all weighted I assume) and then following that I got the same joke sites making fun of him that Wikia Search finds. He's easy to make fun of, and probably would like to be a crack whore when he grows up anyway.

    As for Wikipedia policy and the foam-at-the-mouth anger it seems to inspire, I think people should lighten up. I use Wikipedia because each (properly written) article provides links to its references. Essentially Wikipedia provides search functionality, a summary of a topic, and links to further reading if you're interested (or if you don't trust the author.) So what if Wales suffers from a god complex? His site is useful, and the software it runs on is free for anyone so inclined to start their own JoeBloePedia where they can apply their own set of biases.

  30. John H Woods Silver badge

    @Breaking Wind

    I agree. I don't know what other people are looking up on Wikipedia which allows them to determine that is politically biased and unreliable - can they tell us?

    We know how Wikipedia works, therefore we resist using it to look up subjects we know could be contentious. But a great deal of the technical information is correct and useful --- certainly no worse than, say, Encyclopaedia Britanica.

    You need to be sceptical about what you read on the net. In fact, you need to be sceptical about what you read in print and see on the tv as well. Stop looking for the ultimate authority for information and use your grey cells - check multiple sources, question what you read and keep an open mind, whether it's on wikipedia, answers-in-genesis or el Reg.

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