You know that there is a change in the air when Wikipedia and Amazon.com hook up. And that is exactly what has happened recently, with Amazon providing a $10m grant to Wikia, an offshoot of Wikipedia, run by Wikimedia, and all created by Jimmy Wales. Yes, there is a lot of Wiki in the world these days…
A brief description is to say that Wikia is a search engine with the
same open source-collaborative feel that Wikipedia is based upon. And
with the recent purchase of Grub, an open sourced distributed search
crawler platform – basically a search engine that relies on the
combined computing power of your own PC along with those of everyone
else running the Grub software.
It comes in a world where the Web 2.0 boom is actually a well
sustained movement, rather than the original .com boom of yesteryear.
Amazon’s involvement has already provided a lot of heavy muscle to
Jimmy Wales’ new startup, by not only providing cash but name
recognition. Of course, with Wikipedia under his belt, Jimmy isn’t
necessarily relying on others name recognition.
So the question remains, does Google have anything to worry about?
For so long Google has been the premiere search engine, providing
clean and fast search results without the added flare of intricate page
designs and flashy advertising. This, if nothing else, has been
Google’s prime seller; the clean interface that we have to deal with.
Not to mention the sheer pervasiveness of their reach would be foolish
though, with Google search bars being incorporated unobtrusively in to
both Firefox and Internet Explorer.
Wikia has a long way to go, but as with Wikipedia, it has the
potential to be something great. Though I doubt that Google will fear
the competition yet, seeing as Wikia relies heavily upon the
involvement of the vaguely tech savvy, compared to their “anyone can
use us” approach.
Posted by Josh Hill