April 17, 2007

Citizen Toilet Bowl Cleaners For Wikipedia-Model Search Engine

FastCompany has a long article on the Wikipedia-Model Search Engine. Which, as far as I know, is still vaporware. "Wikia"'s CEO (the startup commercializing Wikipedia's influence, though technically not Wikipedia itself), said the following not me:

The community has responded quite enthusiastically so far, catching even Wales by surprise. "I just thought we'll put a couple of developers on it and kind of play with it on the side and see what comes up," he says. "But now there's a huge developer community that's really interested." As Gil Penchina, Wales's handpicked CEO to lead Wikia, says, "Since the news leaked out, people have been lining up, saying, 'I'll clean the toilet bowl, let me in here.'"

As I've said, there's programmers who would pay to get a shot at being part of a Google-killer, so there's going to be no problem in finding free labor. Even fairly skilled programmer labor. In fact, tongue-in-cheek, I'm starting to wonder if they could even finance the company that way.

Given the way Wales and Wikia can arrange the risk factors (i.e, the programmers work for free, Wikia gets the money of any success), they don't have to revolutionize search in order to ultimately get a nice payday for themselves.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in wikia-search | on April 17, 2007 07:02 AM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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I like Orlowski's term for Amazon's Mechinical Turk service:

Citizens' Sweatshop

That probably applies here as well.

Posted by: anon at April 19, 2007 01:17 AM