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Jimmy Wales on Wikia Search

So far both TechCrunch and Mashable have bashed the new alpha version of Wikia Search. Jimmy Wales left the following comment on TechCrunch which I think makes points that are worth keeping in mind when releasing any new product into an existing market.

Release early, release often.

It’s a project to *build* a search engine, not a search engine. We’ve been telling everyone that constantly. I’m sorry Michael’s disappointed, but having said that, we didn’t build it for him, but for people who think that openness, transparency, and participation are more important than slick releases.

When I launched Wikipedia, I wrote at the top of the first page “Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia”. On that day, anyone reviewing it would have laughed. What’s this? There’s nothing here! This is not an encyclopedia, it is an empty website with some funny editing syntax!

So the comparison to Google on day one is just mistaken. Google didn’t launch a project to build a human-powered search engine, they launched an algorithmic search engine with a clever new idea. So they didn’t have to wait for the humans to come in and start building it.

We aren’t even running with a real index yet, just a placeholder index. Yeah, the search sucks today. But that’s not the point. The point is that we are building something different.

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Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
crucially
Jan. 7th, 2008 09:27 am (UTC)
Thanks David.

I really like the fact that we release early, release often.
(Anonymous)
Jan. 7th, 2008 09:47 am (UTC)
Wikia Search + PredictAd
If Wikia really wants to make this a community-generated search engine than the demo attached will do just that - http://tinyurl.com/yvah8w

PredictAd Search Assist has a collaborative filtering feature that learns community search patterns. If you start typing in the demo attached you will start getting autocomplete results (with contextual advertisements) - these results will optimize based on the popularity of certain search terms/phrases.

If Jimmy Wales is reading - take a close look…PredictAd is FREE and its contextual advertising platform gives the publisher something that Adwords simply doesn’t! Moreover, it’s the first Ajax service offered on the web, and it’s a cool one at that…
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )