Wiki Citizens Taking on a New Area: Searching

Miguel Helft in the New York Times:

13_wales_jimmyMr. Wales expects his new Internet search engine, Wikia Search, an early version of which is being made available to the public Monday at, to follow a similar trajectory.

“We want to make it really clear that when people arrive and do searches, they should not expect to find a Google killer,” Mr. Wales said. Instead, people who use the Wikia search engine should understand that they are part of the early stages of a project to build a “Google-quality search engine,” Mr. Wales said.

Like Wikipedia, Mr. Wales plans to rely on a “wiki” model, a voluntary collaboration of people, to fine-tune the Wikia search engine. When it starts up Monday, the service will rank pages based on a relatively simple algorithm. Users will be allowed and encouraged to rate search results for quality and relevance. Wikia will gradually incorporate that feedback in its rankings of Web pages to deliver increasingly useful answers to people’s questions.

More here.  [Thanks to Karen Ballentine.]