Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Humans Do It Better Redux

Wikipedia Founder Jimbo Wales is in the news, recapitulating the motto of the late, never-really-great ODP/dMOZ that "Humans do it better" when it comes to indexing the Internet. Jimbo's brainchild, which may or may not end up being named Wikiasari, is the latest incarnation of 3apes, a wiki-based search that hopes to use human editors to rank websites rather than search engine algorithms, and the first thing that should jump out at you when you visit Wikiasari is that it is part of Wikia, a for-profit enterprise which has secured some $8 million in Series A funding from Bessemer Partners and various other Silicon Valley investors. Notwithstanding Jimbo's involvement in both projects and the similarity in the look and feel of both sites, Wikia has no financial ties to Wikipedia.

The first stirrings of a wiki-based search were heard on XODP in August of 2002 when Jimbo Wales posted an announcement on the XODP Yahoo! eGroup regarding 3apes. Earlier this year, one Charlene posted an announcement at the XODP Yahoo! eGroup regarding Search Wikia, and posted another announcement earlier this month regarding the "revitalization" of Wikiasari that is now under way. I'm still not sure what this revitalization involves, but I wish Jimbo, Charlene, and all the other people over at Wikia the best of luck.