Wikia Search set for launch

Wikia Search set for launch Wikia Search, the new search engine run by the community and backed by the for-profit venture Wikia, will open to the public for the first time on Monday January 7th, according to the site's co-founder.

Jimmy Wales, who also co-founded user-run online encyclopedia Wikipedia, said that an alpha version of the search tool would go live next week, allowing people to identify any issues that could arise.

"We want to run over the system with help from people to complain about what is broken," he wrote in a Christmas email to the Wikia Search mailing list.

The new search engine will allow users to decide how pages are ranked rather than being based purely on keywords or sponsorship. The internet will be crawled and indexed using the Grub search project, which relies on user-provided distributed processing power.

According to Mr Wales, Wikia Search will allow volunteers improve search technology collectively, to ensure that a small number of firms do not achieve a monopoly on the direction of internet search traffic.

Meanwhile, Google has announced that it is entering into the online encyclopedia sector with a project, called knoll, which will allow users to take credit for their articles and share in online advertising revenue generated from the pages.

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