Wikipedia's search engine cousin arrives next week

— 6:00 AM on January 3, 2008

Next Monday may already be marked on some folks' calendar as the first day of the Consumer Electronics Show, but as the Washington Post reports, it's also the launch date for an interesting new search engine. Dubbed Wikia Search, the engine is the brainchild of Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and was first announced last March. Back then, Wales said he aimed to take over 5% of the search engine market thanks to the new tool.

Wikia Search's result ranking algorithms will be built using the same collaborative methodology that made Wikipedia famous, marking a radical departure from search engines like Google and Yahoo that keep their algorithms under lock and key. The Washington Post quotes Wales as saying the idea behind Wikia Search is to be "more transparent to end users, meaning they can see how search results are arrived at." By contrast, Wales says Google and Yahoo are "opaque services." Wikia Search will rely on users to rank and filter search results and on contributors to develop the service over time.

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