Wikia Search launched on the 7th of January - I know, we're the 13th.
I always have good excuses: I was too busy testing/enjoying/loving search, so
I delayed reporting about the hottest/most awaited for launch of 2008.
The net.. The blogoshpere.. The universe.. They were all on fire. Literally. Press releases, interviews, posts, debates. Some loved it and others hated it.
Detractors built their case mainly on the fact that the results were not accurate, and that it was too soon to launch the Alpha version of Search (omitting one little detail: Alpha comes before Beta, and doesn't mean anything but "very early stage of development").
The social networking component (you can customize a profile page and add friends once you sign up) was also very widely criticized: does the world need another Facebook?
In my *humble* opinion, they failed to see the big picture: this open source human powered search engine IS the next big thing.
Of course, it will take time to be perfect, and Jimmy Wales gave a clear warning about the matter (yes, at this stage, the search results are bad); Wikipedia was not built in one day.
I see it having mainly two types of users: the ones who search and the ones who influence the search results. Just like the Wikipedia model, the active community will be very protective of its inputs, which will lead to high quality search results.
As far as the social networking part of the site is concerned, I totally see its benefit if it is linked to search in some way, shape or form.
Most of the features are not launched/implemented yet, so it is definitely too early for the "web authorities" to judge. Sit back, relax and wait for it to grow to its full potential.
Hail to the Wikia team and for the great job they've done :)
Check out Wikia search, register and add me a as a friend!
(Look for Stephanie T.)
Note: read more about the launch here
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Posted by Stephanie TS. at 3:23 PM