Wikia sure does sound interesting. In Jimbo’s own words:
- “Search is part of the fundamental infrastructure of the Internet. And, it is currently broken.
- Why is it broken? It is broken for the same reason that proprietary software is always broken: lack of freedom, lack of community, lack of accountability, lack of transparency. Here, we will change all that.
I agree that searching is currently pretty broken; spammers, pagerank and commercial interests have turned even the most innocent search into a trough through fake links, sites offering porn/price searches/MORE searches and the like. Google doesn’t help this with the over-commercialisation of their own site. I want to find what I’m searching for, not find what someone has paid Google to put in a box at the top of the page. Yahoo is much the same (with a traditionally worse layout), and the other search sites don’t have anything like the same quality. Which right now isn’t saying much, for the reasons given.
I’d be interested to see how wikiness improves things. OK, I’m guessing there would be an easy way to fix links that are obviously broken or fake so that might solve my one major gripe, but surely that just opens up the tools to the spammers as well. Fixing wikipedia corruption is one thing, but people generally do that for fun, or because they’re a gripe about something. Spammers fight dirty, and there would be money involved in “fixing” a wiki-based search engine, or at least driving it into the ground to folks turn back to Google, the corporate spam whore’s friend.
Food for thought indeed. I wish them all the best. We need it!