article : Wikipedia creator turns to search
- From: Paul B <customerservices@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 29 Dec 2006 14:05:47 +0000
The creator of the Wikipedia encyclopedia is turning his attention to
Jimmy Wales, the man behind the collaborative online reference work,
is planning to create a "people-powered" search site.
The Search Wikia project will not rely on computer algorithms to
determine how relevant webpages are to keywords.
Instead the results generated by the search engine will be decided and
edited by humans.
The project will stand apart from the Wikipedia encyclopedia but will
be overseen by the Wikimedia Foundation - which is headed by Mr Wales.
Like the Wikipedia, the search site will rely on a large community of
members to create and run it.
Announcing the project Mr Wales said it was needed because the
existing search systems for the net were "broken".
They were broken, he said, because they lacked freedom, community,
accountability and transparency.
The Search Wikia project would aim to change this and he said it would
draw on the work of sites such as Nutch and Lucene which have taken a
more open approach to search engines.
At the moment the results returned to those using keywords on sites
such as Google are generated by computers which analyse webpages to
work out what they are about and how useful they are.
Webpage owners use all kinds of tricks to outsmart the computer
indexing systems and ensure their pages appear high up in results -
even if they are not relevant to particular keywords.
By contrast the relevance of results returned by the Search Wikia will
be decided by the site's community of users. Those searching will also
be able to edit the list of results they get.
Mr Wales announced his plans for the search project before Christmas
and was now recruiting people and buying hardware to get it up and
running. There is no indication when it will be launched.
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