Give Jimmy Wales credit: his free, thorough, mostly-accurate Wikipedia let us throw out our Encarta discs for good. But his newest task — chipping into Google’s search market share — will be much trickier.
The embargo has lifted on an alpha version of Search Wikia, yet another smarter-than-Google because-we-say-so search tool. VentureBeat has an exhaustive summary of its features, mission, business structure, etc. But first, you might want to check out Mike Arrington’s take, titled “Wikia Search Is A Complete Letdown.”
In short, Arrington says it’s a half-baked attempt at a search engine, with lousy search results and less human influence — now, at least — than he expected. But at least Wikia has spent plenty of time making its search engine into a social network, complete with user profiles, friends… and its very own Facebook-like news feed!
Sure, anything human-created will take time to develop and refine. Wikipedia wasn’t built in a day. Hell, Google wasn’t built in a day. And we’re all for competition, especially in markets dominated by one player. But Wikia faces a steep, uphill climb.
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