Jimmy Wales Discusses Search Wikia on MarketWatch

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales went face to face with Bambi Francisco on today's MarketWatch, and shared more about the concept of Search Wikia, a new social search engine designed to combine algorithmic results with user voting and contribution features. Francisco questioned whether or not this social search technology had the power to dethrone Google.

During the TV interview, Wales declined to put a specific number on the "substantial investment" for building out the new search engine, although he said the service should be in open beta within 2-3 months.

Wales fully admitted that the early days of Search Wikia may not produce quality results, just as the initial stages of Wikipedia had its challenges. However, Wales was clear that the ultimate goal is complete transparency and high quality search results.

Danny Sullivan wrote earlier this week on the poor quality of the new Wikiseek tool, though the purpose and functionality is worlds apart from the new engine in the works. Sullivan had previously discussed the driving forces of Search Wikia in another interview with Jimmy Wales.

About the author

Elisabeth Osmeloski has been in the search engine marketing industry since 1999, with agency experience as an SEO consultant and web copywriter for a variety of clients, ranging from small businesses to large corporations, as well as working in-house for a travel search industry startup. Elisabeth is also a regular speaker and a moderator at the Search Engine Strategies conferences.

Elisabeth recently launched a new blog and consulting agency, Adventures in Search, specializing in editorial services including content strategy, SEO copywriting, community development and management, social media marketing, online PR and customized link building. Elisabeth's areas of expertise include adventure travel services, destination and tourism marketing, outdoor recreation and action sports, as well as luxury- and lifestyle-focused brands.

She holds a B.A. in Marketing from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She also spent several years as the Skiing Editor for About.com, and still enjoys writing as an active travel journalist whenever possible. In addition to freelance travel writing assignments, Elisabeth has also created Downhill Divas, a social network for women interested in skiing, snowboarding, freeride mountain biking and living a healthy, active lifestyle.