May 22, 2009

"Wikia Search" site ends up pointing to Wikia Wikianswers site

In a final coda to the sad saga of Wikia Search (the overhyped Wikipedia-model user-generated free labor search startup, which crashed and burned into being a Yahoo front-end before imploding completely), the site now leads to nothing but Wikia's copycat wiki answers site. There's a little section on the homepage there:

Wikia Search

The Wikia Search project has ended. redirects here. Find out more:

* What was Wikia Search?
* What happened to Wikia Search?
* Where can I get the source code for Wikia Search?

A while back, just before the announcement of Wikia Search's shutdown, Walt Crawford wrote in his Cites & Insights publication the following thoughts:

I have nine printouts and lead sheets, mostly related to Wikia Search, Wikia's odd effort to take on Google by crowdsourcing search ranking itself. But I notice an oddity similar to the CZ cluster, and maybe it shouldn't be surprising: All the items are from a single blog, in this case Seth Finkelstein's InfoThought ... Searching that blog for "Wikia search" yields a lot of results; he's covered it in depth.

Why is all my Wikia Search stuff from one source? Maybe because, despite lots of praise when Wales started talking up the idea in 2007, the reality has been... tepid. When the public availability began in January 2008, SearchEngineLand called it "really just yet another crappy search service." The more you read of the whole basic idea, the less it seems to make much sense in the real world.

Sadly, there's a market for hype, but not for skepticism.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in wikia , wikia-search | on May 22, 2009 05:21 PM (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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Unfortunately, I'll have to second your final sentence. Apparently the effective way to counter hype is counterhype, which has the side-effect of pushing out any middle ground.

Posted by: walt crawford at May 23, 2009 01:18 PM