I notice that Don Dodge (of Microsoft’s Emerging Business team) has started the New Year with his views on where the Search market has room for innovation. It’s interesting that he says ‘The Next Big Thing will be the old thing done in a new way,’ just days after Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales begins work on Wikia Search.
The new project spurns algorithms in favour of the human touch, brought by a team of volunteers who will deliver and order the results. Wales believes that current search technologies lack freedom, community, accountability and transparency and Wikia Search will restore this to the online environment.
There’s no doubt that Wikipedia’s popularity will help the development of the new search system but to me it feels too niche to ever rival Google, which has reportedly overtaken Technorati for Blog search in the last week. I’m not sure the search giant can be caught in it’s own back yard but online is moving to other devices, so will Google be the market leader in mobile search by this time next year?