Next week will be officially launched Wikia Search, powered by the free software MediaWiki and managed by Wikia Inc., with about 50 million to 100 million Web pages indexed.
Wikia Search will have open-source search algorithms and application program interfaces, and will include the Grub search project, acquired by Wikia in July 2007.
Jimmy Wale, the Wikipedia founder, says that Wikia Search will let volunteers improve search technology collectively.
Wikia, Inc. is a company based in San Mateo, California, USA. Wikia has also opened an office in Poznań, Poland in 2006.
Wikia had received US$4 million in venture capital from Bessemer Venture Partners. Amazon.com has invested US$10 million (per pewnews) in Series B funding. Funding received from Amazon.com was not specific to the search project.
In accordance with Wikia Search, the main principles that will conduct the indexing of the web pages will be
- Transparency – Openness in how the systems and algorithms operate, both in the form of open source licenses and open content + APIs.
- Community – Everyone is able to contribute in some way (as individuals or entire organizations), strong social and community focus.
- Quality – Significantly improve the relevancy and accuracy of search results and the searching experience.
- Privacy – Must be protected, do not store or transmit any identifying data.
The result is extensive media coverage in multiple languages, in outlets, publishing the statement as an announcement.
Gil Penchina, chief executive officer of Wikia, stated in an interview that the goal for the project is to get five percent of the search market and that a release date for services was not scheduled. “We’re really trying to build a movement to make search free and open and transparent,” Penchina said.
On December 24, 2007, Wales announced that Wikia Search had entered “private pre-alpha”, with a planned public launch date of January 7, 2008.