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Wikipedia founder to launch Google rival, Wikia

Jimmy Wales (opens in new tab), 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.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.