Wikipedia founder to compete with Google

30 Jul 2007 View Comments
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Jimmy Wales hopes his new search engine will compete with Google and Yahoo

Jimmy Wales, the creator of online encyclopedia Wikipedia, has unveiled details of his company's community-developed open source search engine.

The new site, due to launch by the end of 2007, will combine human-assisted editing with computer-controlled searches. Earlier this year Wales' commercial startup company, Wikia, purchased the rights to web crawler platform Grub.

Grub users download a program which makes uses of their computer's processing power while the machine is left idle. If widely adopted, such an arrangement could reduce the need for Wikia to set up a web crawling network of its own.

Wales says that the combination of human input and computer-driven technology could help Wikia Search to handle ambiguous words with multiple meanings.

'If we can get good quality search results, I think it will really change the balance of power from the search companies back to the publishers,' said Wales at a software developer conference in Oregon.

Wikia has collected $14m (£6.9m) in funding, $10m (£4.9m) of which has been provided by online retailer Amazon.com

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