Today Jimmy Wales launched an alpha version of Wikia, the search engine to be built openly and wiki-like by users. From the about page:
Wikia is working to develop and popularize a freely licensed (open source) search engine. What you see here is our first alpha release.
We are aware that the quality of the search results is low..
Wikia's search engine concept is that of trusted user feedback from a community of users acting together in an open, transparent, public way. Of course, before we start, we have no user feedback data. So the results are pretty bad. But we expect them to improve rapidly in coming weeks, so please bookmark the site and return often.
Right now, the most important thing you can do is help with the "miniarticles" that appear at the top of popular search terms. These will vary in purpose according to the circumstance, but the primary uses will be:
At the bottom of every page is a linke to "Post bug reports here"... please use that link liberally to give us large amounts of feedback.
I believe that search is a fundamental part of the infrastructure of the Internet, and that it can and should therefore be done in an open, objective, accountable way. This site, which we have been working on for a long time now, represents the first draft of the future of search....
PS: I believe the Wikia project was first announced in December 2006.
Peter Suber at 1/07/2008 09:43:00 AM.
The open access movement:
Putting peer-reviewed scientific and scholarly literature
on the internet. Making it available free of charge and
free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Removing the barriers to serious research.