Comments: Wikia Search : A Media Case Study on "the human touch to outsmart Google"

LOL at the quote from the guy at the Berkman Center! Jimmy Wales is an honorary Berkman Fellow. Talk about a circle-jerk.

How appropriate that an 18-year-old college student is donating his precious time to a for-profit search failure, when he should be studying, eating pizza at 2 AM, playing flag football, and (heaven forbid) meeting girls.

Among the wiki-whackos, it seems only Jimbo caught on to that last priority in life, eh?

Posted by Gregory Kohs at May 1, 2008 09:57 AM

It is old news but that quote from Penchina is very illuminating. He just doesn't understand that the highly structured nature of spam lends itself to simple filtering. A handful of rules is capable of dealing with a lot of the spam. Webpages, especially those that are intended to game the system, don't have quite that element of sameness. If they did, they'd be flagged by a duplicate content filter.

The one thing that Search Wikia seems to have overlooked in its rush to market is the quality of its search index. That one thing has killed more search engines than anything else. Shovelling a bunch of URLs into a crawler and hoping for the best does not work. Applying social search to clean an index after the index has gone live is like digging a hole on the beach with a teaspoon at the water's edge. It is always going to be flooded.

Perhaps Wikia Search will be just another fourth tier search engine low down on the pyramid where Google is the capstone. I don't know if it has anything near the organisation and search expertise required to make the jump to a second (Yahoo) or third tier (Microsoft/Ask etc) search engine.

Posted by John McCormac at May 1, 2008 02:23 PM

Wait -- is Penchina trying to say that it would be better if humans went through my email to filter out spam, before I could get to read it?

No, thanks. I'd rather have the dumb machines.


Posted by Vipul Naik at May 3, 2008 03:44 PM

Gregory: Jimbo majored in finance. He knows the value of labor to others.

John: I think he meant even with all the rules, things still get through, and there's no substitute for sweatshop labor, err, I mean, the human touch.

Vipul: Yes, I think that's what he meant. Like celebrities have personal assistants to screen their mail.

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at May 7, 2008 07:57 PM