Breakthrough in Search? Is the World Ready for a Wikisearch?

I stumbled on an interesting set of interviews with Jimmy Wales in Wired and Searchengineland, about an experiment to apply the Web 2.0 spirit of collaboration to the building of the platform to develop a new open source search engine with user-editable search resultsIt seems as if the project went public after a premature story in The Times.. Here it is – in its own words:

Jimmy Wales

Search is part of the fundamental infrastructure of the Internet. And, it is currently broken.

Why is it broken? It is broken for the same reason that proprietary software is always broken: lack of freedom, lack of community, lack of accountability, lack of transparency. Here, we will change all that.

There have been some amazing projects in recent years which have matured now to the point that a new alternative is possible. Wikia is funding and supporting the development of something radically new.

Nutch and Lucene and some other projects now provide the background infrastructure that we need to generate a new kind of search engine, which relies on human intelligence to do what algorithms cannot. Just as Wikipedia revolutionized how we think about knowledge and the encyclopedia, we have a chance now to revolutionize how we think about search.

Help me out, spread the word. I am looking for people to continue the development of a wiki-inspired search engine. Specifically community members who would like to help build people-powered search results and developers to help us build an open-source alternative for web search.

Early stages but it sounds fascinating – and important. This is “A project to create the search engine that changes everything“.

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