Update: Liana Evans of Seach Marketing Gurus has done a great job of journalism and corrected some of the errors that myself and others posted about this story. You can read about it here.
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales plans, in partnership with Amazon, on launching a search engine early next year, accordiing to the London Times
Wales contends that Google has developed flaws as it has grown. And believes he can use his wiki methodology to compete with Google, Yahoo and MSN.
He told the Times that computer algorithms do not make as good selections as humans and if people get to use his alternative they may prefer it.
“But we have a really great method for doing that ourselves,” Wales told The Times. “We just look at the page. It usually only takes a second to figure out if the page is good, so the key here is building a community of trust that can do that.”
"The reputation already fostered by his Wikipedia community and the transparency of his technology will build sufficient trust in his search engine to bring in advertising revenue and make the Wikiasari venture profitable" The Times reported.
The project has been called Wikiasari - a combination of Hawaian and Japanese for "quick" "rummaging search". How this plays out should provide entertainment in the new year.
Update: Michael Arrington at TechCrunch has come up with a screen shot of the new engine. Looks like sponsored listings at the right, related links at the top and organic results where they normally appear.
There is also more detail and comments from Wales.