One of the earliest posts on hyprtext was about the proposed new community search engine proposed by Jimmy Wales. There was quite a lot of kerfuffle about it, largely due to confusion over Amazon’s involvement, and quite a lot of debate concerning the name of the project, which everyone assumed was wikiasari. Most people agreed that this was a terrible name for a search engine.
Since then, I have had a chance to have a good poke about the site where the engine will be designed, search.wikia.com. The first thing the site does is put right a few misunderstandings:
Amazon has nothing to do with this project. They are a valued investor in Wikia, Inc., but people are really speculating beyond the facts. This search engine project has nothing to do with Amazon’s A9, etc…
This project has also nothing to do with the screenshot TechCrunch are running (which belongs to Wikisearch), and this search project has nothing to do with Wikipedia…
Wikiasari is not and will not be the name for the free search engine we’re developing. It was the name of a former project.
So, search.wikia is the name of the wiki where the project is discussed. Wikiasari is the name of a previous attempt to get a wiki based search engine going, and WikiSearch is a search engine that searches Wikipedia and all sites that are linked from it.
The new engine as yet has no name. But it’s being talked about.
I have to admit, I’m interested in this project, and I’d like to see it work. So, I have done as Jimbo implores us to do, and joined the mailing list. The first thing to pop into my mailbox was a missive from Jimbo, entitled First steps to getting it right…
…For now I just want to point out that the largest amount of skepticism about what we are going to try to accomplish here is driven by the inherent issue of spammers. There are huge incentives for people to try to abuse our good will and we have to anticipate and expect that. But, unlike many of the skeptics who think that this is impossible, I am very confident that if we can build a genuine community and give ourselves as a community the tools we need, then we can deal with this issue without a lot of trouble.
Tomorrow I will write more about how I see the core design working.
I’m looking forward to it.