P16: a blog by Matt Kangas home archive
07 Jan 2008

Wikia Search finally launched... what is it?

The top news in the search world today is that Jimmy Wales' much-hyped "Google killer", Wikia Search, just pulled back the covers today for the world to see:


Techcrunch called it a "complete letdown". That may be a bit harsh, but he's right, it's anything but a "Google killer" in its current form. Other writeups that I noticed include VentureBeat, Silicon Alley Insider, and John Battelle's Searchblog

So after a year of hype, what has Wikia actually built?

Alongside the Google-style results are boxes for:

In comments on the TechCrunch post, Jimmy Wales stressed that "It’s a project to build a search engine, not a search engine". I for one am glad they "released early", and can't wait to see where they're going with this. If they can actually make the "transparent index" that gives good results, it'll be a great service to internet users... more or less what Doug Cutting set out to do when he started the Nutch project.

(Disclosure: We used Nutch at my startup BusyTonight for all of our crawl infrastructure from 2005 to 2007.)