Jimmy Wales announced the Alpha release of Wikia Search, which many have been waiting for for about a year since he first announced the project. I jumped over there to the alpha site to check it out and was registered in just a few minutes. Registering allows access to some of the “social” features like building your profile, uploading photos, you know – the usual stuff that a social network offers.
For those not familiar with the project, the idea behind it is a human-edited search engine designed to be harder to spam. Human-edited like Wikiapedia and harder to spam un-like Google.
Since it is Alpha, the results are pretty bad at the moment. However, as more people visit the site, they are sure to improve in the coming weeks. Visitors are encouraged register and start working on the “mini-articles”. These will help to improve the search results and their purposes are listed as:
The other interesting feature of Wikia Search is that Wales feels he can grab about 5% of the Search market, which could be possible considering Wikia Search incorporates the human-edited aspect of Wikiapedia and adds Social Networking features as well. But, if the interest wanes after a few months, that might be a bit ambitious. Currently, there is a great buzz surrounding the project, but that usually happens anytime something like this is launched. The trick will be to maintain and increase the level of user participation, which will be helped by the Social aspect I am sure.
More to follow as we play around with it, but don’t wait for us – try it for yourself.