What happens when a story is published that mentions a "Google Killer", but only manages to get part of the facts right? Hysteria - that's what. The blogosphere took a story that was published by the London Times and ran. They ran, and ran, and ran. I believe I've read every article out there on this to get to the bottom of what is true and what isn't.
UPDATE: Search Wikia has updated their page.
Lets see if I can help everyone make sense of this. James (Jimmy/Jimbo) Wales, the founder of Wikipedia talked to London Times reporter James Doran about the new software project "Wikiasari". Mr. Wales gives Doran some great quotes, everything from how current search is broken to how human powered search is great. Example quote from Wales:
“Google is very good at many types of search, but in many instances it produces nothing but spam and useless crap. Try searching for the term ‘Tampa hotels’, for example, and you will not get any useful results.”
The problem isn't with the quotes, the problem comes with the reporter's assumptions on a couple key, very important points that the article makes. The article assumes that Amazon is part of this project. If you are a savvy tech or search professional, the way it is stated leaves you with the impression this new "Google Killer" will be a replacement for A9. The author also goes on to give a name to the search project calling Wikiasari ("wiki" for "quick" in Hawaiian, and "asari" for rummaging search in Japanese).
This must have hit all the alerts people have set up for "Google" and "Wikipedia" because the blogosphere was set on fire. ZDNet alone, had 3 articles on this within 24 hours. The news aggregators were churning out all the collective of articles on Wikiasari, too. TechCrunch's Michael Arrington, not to be scooped on anything new, went to work on an "exclusive" screenshot of the new WikiSearch/Wikiasari.
The problem is - a lot of this information is wrong. Mr. Wales is now on a mission to correct all the mis-information out there. If you reading Niall Kennedy's blog entry about Wikiasari,(which is very insiteful!) and then the comments from Wales you find out two things: 1) Amazon has nothing to do with it and 2) Wikiasari is only the software's name, not the search engine's name. Wales gives a link back to Wikia's search home page.
You get Wikia's search home page and that's where you find out that TechCrunch is completely wrong.
"Update: The TechCrunch story is also wrong. This project has nothing to do with the screenshot they are running, and this search project has nothing to do with Wikipedia."
- Widiapedia founder James Wales is planning on launching a new search engine first quarter 2007.
- Amazon nor A9 is not involved with the project
- It will be a "people-powered" search engine
- It will be built as open-sourced
- Wikiasari is the software name, not the Search Engine name
Now I leave you with the round up of all the links for all the stories, however, I do not vouch for how factual these articles are. Most of the information is based off the original London Times artice
- London Times: Founder of Wikipedia plans search engine to rival Google
- ZD Net: Wikipedia’s Wales wants to take on Google
- ZD Net: Google search challenge from Wikipedia founder in 2007?
- ZD Net: Wales speaks out: Wikiasari ‘people-powered’ search engine
- TechCrunch: Wikipedia-based Search Engine: Exclusive Screenshot
- Search Engine Watch: Wikipedia and Amazon Taking on Google
- ThreadWatch: Wikipedia Founder to start search engine to take out Google, Yahoo and MSN - Wikiasari.com
- Niall Kennedy: Wikiasari: Wikipedia success applied to social search?
- Mashable: Wikiasari - Wikipedia Founder Launching a Google Rival
- ITWire: Wikipedia founder plans search engine to rival Google
- Joe Duck: GoogleGuy and upcoming Google Rival WikiaSari
- Wikiasari - Wikipedia Founder Launching a Google Rival (Pete Cashmore/Mashable!)
- Wikipedia-based Search Engine: Exclusive Screenshot (Michael Arrington/TechCrunch)
- Wikiasari: Wikipedia success applied to social search? (Niall Kennedy/Niall Kennedy's Weblog)
- Wikipedia founder plans search engine to rival Google (Adam Turner/ITWire)
- Founder of Wikipedia plans search engine to rival Google (Times of London)