Jimmy Wales got hammered by Arrington for the launch of Wikia Search.
Jimmy Wales comments on the techcrunch thread, with a salient point:
When I launched Wikipedia, I wrote at the top of the first page “Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia”. On that day, anyone reviewing it would have laughed. What’s this? There’s nothing here! This is not an encyclopedia, it is an empty website with some funny editing syntax!
Aka: To build a community-driven tool, you have to have a platform to build. They’ve released the platform, and don’t really have the tool yet. Here’s what the about page says:
Wikia is working to develop and popularize a freely licensed (open source) search engine. What you see here is our first alpha release.
We are aware that the quality of the search results is low..
Wikia’s search engine concept is that of trusted user feedback from a community of users acting together in an open, transparent, public way. Of course, before we start, we have no user feedback data. So the results are pretty bad. But we expect them to improve rapidly in coming weeks, so please bookmark the site and return often.
Whether it’ll work or not, I don’t know, but google needs a good competitor. Though I think wikia’s really competing against del.icio.us and stumbleupon… so we’ll see how it goes.
Also, pls: openid. Just gives me less of a headache. I don’t want to register for another site.