February 09, 2007

Note: The Wikipedia-model Google-Killer Search Is Still Speculation

Since Google-killers are in the news today, for something original, let me note that despite the hype, the search project based on a Wikipedia model of user data-mining (whatever the thing is being called these days, I think the preceding phrase is clearer), has yet to even have a development machine installed. The project's mailing list has had lots of discussion about possible approaches, but no action.

The God-King of Wikipedia says:

No firm decisions have been made. We have the test servers scheduled for install on Friday, and then I want to turn people loose on them to start playing around and testing. We need to start talking about how that should happen and who wants to be directly involved.

I had the thought that finding good developers to work for free is different from finding wannabe literary types to work for free as copyeditors. But on reflection, I realized it won't be a problem here. There's plenty of programmers who would pay for a shot at being the guy who killed the fastest gun in the West, err, Google.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in google | on February 09, 2007 05:01 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

Subscribe with Bloglines      Subscribe in NewsGator Online  Google Reader or Homepage


I agree. I think finding programmers will be a breeze. The issue here is that I don't think that Jimbo Wales has learned from the Wikipedia experience. There, the only solution to black-hat SEO was to either turn the outbound links off or destroy their value. Does Wales honestly believe, in the wake of Digg, DMOZ and Wikipedia, that this people-driven system is going to be more resistant to gaming than an algorithm-driven system? If he does, he's living in fantasy-land.

Posted by: Chris Edwards at February 10, 2007 04:24 AM

I believe it's definitely going to be much harder than Wales thinks. However, what's interesting here is that he really does have something in Wikipedia that most would-be Google-killers lack - an amazingly strong *social* backing and ideological defense mechanisms that work to deflect examinations of problems with quality, and to put critics on the defensive. It's not at all certain that'll transfer to search, but it's something worth watching, IMHO.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at February 10, 2007 01:08 PM