Wikipedia founder to launch Google rival, Wikia

Jimmy Wales, the founder of the online pool of knowledge, Wikipedia, confirmed that Wikia search will be launched on the 7th of January - next Monday.

The set includes a search application, a search algorithm and a web crawler, with special emphasis on collaborative searching and filtering, something that Wales learnt from Wikipedia.

Unlike classic search engines like Google and Yahoo, Wikia is dubbed an open search engine as the algorithm that powers it will be transparent and free to alter.

In the long run, third parties will be encouraged to use Wikia to power their own websites and developers to build their own search engines.

However, it remains to be seen if Wikia will pose a serious threat to Google who has successfully fended off onslaughts from mightier rivals such as Microsoft and Yahoo.

Earlier last month, Google announced a Wikipedia rival, Knol, which aims to be a more polished way of aggregating content from experts worldwide and using Google's own technology.

The three year old Wikia joins the growing rank of human powered search engines which already includes Chacha and Mahalo.