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Wikipedia's Search Engine Plan

CmdrTaco posted more than 7 years ago | from the just-because-you-can dept.

The Internet 102

jasonoik writes "Wikia, the commercial company founded by Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales, reveals plans for a new, editable search engine. They say that the goal of the project is to get 5% of the search market. The service does not yet an official release date. The article also leaves open the possibility that the search results may contain ads, and concludes by listing figures of the web advertisement market." Update: 03/11 17:24 GMT by KD : Wikia and Wikipedia are separate companies.

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102 comments

Sheesh, I read that as "edible search engine" (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18307390)

...which sounded delicious.

Re:Sheesh, I read that as "edible search engine" (1)

EinZweiDrei (955497) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307926)

And the beauty of an editable search engine is: you can make it so that it can be read as "edible search engine"!

Re:Sheesh, I read that as "edible search engine" (3, Funny)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 7 years ago | (#18309798)

Problem is.. no matter what you search for, you end up eating viagra..

WP is the Anti-Google (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307396)

"Do No Evil" became "Be as corrupt and evil as possible."

An "editable search engine"? Great, now even MORE of the searches I run will pop up ads for v14GR4 and enhancements for body parts I don't possess, nevermind those linkspam sites that just insert the entire fucking dictionary in metacode.

You searched for: Bill Gates
you got: 400 pictures of penises, vaginas, and one picture of a penis covered in something that looks like it came out of the OTHER opening.

Re:WP is the Anti-Google (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18307470)

enhancements for body parts I don't possess

...you.. YOU'RE A GIRRRRRLLL!!!

400 pictures of penises, vaginas, and one picture of a penis covered in something that looks like it came out of the OTHER opening.

...I love you!

Re:WP is the Anti-Google (5, Funny)

shudde (915065) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307518)

You searched for: Bill Gates you got: 400 pictures of penises, vaginas, and one picture of a penis covered in something that looks like it came out of the OTHER opening.

The system works.

Whoops, that search was run 2 minutes ago (3, Funny)

Moryath (553296) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307688)

Now I search and my results are:

"Tom is a FAG"
"Bilbo Lives!"
"Search engine optimization: do it the Wiki way"
"In the year 1432, the United States of America was founded by Bill Gates and his horde of windows-operating-system killbots..."

Re:WP is the Anti-Google (4, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307956)

or more scarily, and likely...

You searched for: Bill Gates
You Got: Wikipedia Articles on how wonderful the second coming of Ayn Rand will be.

You searched for: Vaginas
You Got: Wikipedia Articles on how wonderful the second coming of Ayn Rand will be.

Re:WP is the Anti-Google (4, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308242)

An "editable search engine"? Great, now even MORE of the searches I run will pop up ads for v14GR4 and enhancements for body parts I don't possess, nevermind those linkspam sites that just insert the entire fucking dictionary in metacode.

True, but to be fair I wish you could have some sort of voting system based off unique IPs.

Every time I do a search for something, chances are I'll come across a site or two that is listed that is totally crap, spam, or blatantly used some sort of method to get hits with the search.

If I could only vote "This is spam!", "This is crap!", "This has nothing to do with the search query!" , and "Ban this site from all search engines for all time!" then I think we would see prevalent results more than not.

Re:WP is the Anti-Google (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18309184)

I bet there are more zombies that can outclick you.

Re:WP is the Anti-Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18309642)

That doesn't work either. For instance, I can set my IP to any unused one in my class B subnet, and given that it's about 99% unused, that's about 65000 public IP addresses.

Re:WP is the Anti-Google (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#18310020)

"Why do we need IPv6?"

"Because asshats who could survive with a /26 think they're more l337 to have a /16 and use it for such important tasks as 'getting around IP blocks on forums and wikis'."

Re:WP is the Anti-Google (1)

jackv (1068006) | more than 7 years ago | (#18313911)

Is Google intentionally allowing this to happen or is it the sheer task of indexing billions of pages which creates this problem. If I search for something very specific , like a system error code, then usuall the results are very good. If on the other hand , I search for something that has many associations , like Bill gates , then really you need a more controlled search. Which is, of course where Yahoo originally were very good , with the controlled search

Re:WP is the Anti-Google (1, Insightful)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308480)

"Do No Evil" became "Be as corrupt and evil as possible."

Actually, it became "Don't be evil, unless necessary for the greater advancement of the human race." Just a heads-up.

Re:WP is the Anti-Google (1)

Tubusy (806092) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311126)

It's for that very reason that this may come under "it's a crazy idea, but it might just work". People are often outraged by the crap that comes up on the major search engines and contributing citizens would work within their field of interest to keep a good signal-to-noise ratio going. In that sense, it is just like the WP - sure it's open to abuses but if enough people get involved civilisation might just be born. Enough people will be determined by the need, and good will, of a critical mass of users; again just like WP. It's an exciting experiment, if nothing else.

One issue that might arise is that bogus sites may have to work a lot harder to maintain a veneer of respectability in order to dupe the editors, and one foresees a potential "arms race". Another is that while WP is founded upon recording of facts that, at least theoretically, can be traced and established, ranking search enquires would be much more subjective. What is universally "good"? Is - oh the horror - the merely popular going to reign supreme in this wikisearch world?

New heights of vandalism? (4, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307400)

Just imagine what all those malcontents out there with too much time on their hands will do with this! It could be truly amusing.

Not *everything* works best when edited by the hordes.

Re:New heights of vandalism? (3, Insightful)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308018)

Just imagine what all those malcontents out there with too much time on their hands will do with this! It could be truly amusing. Not *everything* works best when edited by the hordes.
This is *exactly* what has been said about Wikipedia first. With things like this, you have to *try* to know for sure, so while this idea *may* not work, it definitely worth trying.

Re:New heights of vandalism? (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 7 years ago | (#18310608)

This is *exactly* what has been said about Wikipedia first. With things like this, you have to *try* to know for sure, so while this idea *may* not work, it definitely worth trying.

Are you suggesting we using an empirical methodology to discover the worth of an idea rather than just talking out our asses about why it certainly will or won't work without having tried it? You do know this is Slashdot, right? To any possible question, the answer is immediately and painfully obvious to anyone with half a brain. You've just lost several geek points for suggesting you don't already know exactly what there result will be. :p

Re:New heights of vandalism? (1)

McFadden (809368) | more than 7 years ago | (#18311120)

It's a nice idea, but before they try building an entirely new search engine, why don't they fix the one on the wikipedia site. It's absolutely fucking useless, and incapable of even the most simplistic fuzzy search. Spell the name of a person wrong (which is entirely possible if it's an obscure or foreign name) by as little as one letter, and you're likely to get zero matches.

Quick example: The president of South Africa is called Thabo Mbeki. He's the president of a country, so he'd rank as someone you may want to look up in an Encyclopedia, but he has a difficult name. Let's say you want to search for him but you've only heard his name and never seen it written.

Let's have a stab at: Tabo Mbeki (zero matches) Thabo Embeki (zero matches) Thabo Mbekie (zero matches)

Get the picture Jimmy? Sort your existing search technology out before you start taking on Google.

Fucking inaccurate (4, Informative)

Ignorant Aardvark (632408) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307438)

Wikia is not the "company" behind Wikipedia. The Wikimedia Foundation, which is a non-profit foundation, is what's behind Wikipedia. Wikia is a totally separate for-profit company that is run by Jimbo Wales.

Re:Fucking inaccurate (4, Funny)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307460)

Bah, you and your facts. Obviously you're not a Wikipedia editor. Feel the wikiality flow through you.

Tom

Re:Fucking inaccurate (1)

Ignorant Aardvark (632408) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307464)

Bah, you and your facts. Obviously you're not a Wikipedia editor.

Damn right I'm not a Wikipedia editor. I'm a Wikipedia administrator. And it pisses me off to no end when we get lumped together with Wikia, which we really and truly have absolutely nothing to do with other than sharing the same wiki software (of course, there's thousands of other sites out there that also use MediaWiki).

Re:Fucking inaccurate (2, Funny)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307490)

Maybe there should be a WP article about this? :-)

I can feel my Karma burning ...

Re:Fucking inaccurate (3, Funny)

solevita (967690) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307918)

Don't worry, I'm sure there's some 24 year old somewhere who's been lecturing at top universities on the subject of something-or-other for about 20 years now, they're so enraged by this whole incident (hence the foul language) that they're typing a page up right now. Then they'll make themselves a nice little badge for their user page that reads something like "Justice Squad: Defender of Wikipedia", talk on MSN for a bit and wonder what it would be like to talk to a real girl.

At least I think that's how Wikipedia works.

Re:Fucking inaccurate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18307500)

Administrators are editors too.

Re:Fucking inaccurate (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18310278)

You must be new to Wikipedia. Administrators consider themselves to be above the rules that apply to mere "editors". They also do very little work on the actual articles.

Re:Fucking inaccurate (3, Funny)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307950)

I'm a Wikipedia administrator.

Right, I suppose next you're going to tell us about your PhD & other certifications right ?

WMF and Wikia share Mr. Wales (1, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18309574)

And it pisses me off to no end when we get lumped together with Wikia, which we really and truly have absolutely nothing to do with other than sharing the same wiki software
And the same founder?

Re:Fucking inaccurate (3, Funny)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307626)

"Wikia is not the "company" behind Wikipedia. The Wikimedia Foundation, which is a non-profit foundation, is what's behind Wikipedia. Wikia is a totally separate for-profit company that is run by Jimbo Wales."

Your requirements for a news service are too stringent: they at least got the names kinda matching kinda nice. Plus maybe they meant behind Wikipedia in a more physical and sarcastic manner.

Plus, they seem to be in the middle of some sort of reorganization there, every article is from a new, different department. It must be hell to do this AND still run the site without interruption.

I want to applaud the Slashdot team for their professionalism: guys, we're behind you.

See Also: "Mafia Front" (1)

Moryath (553296) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307674)

Or whatever other term you want to use for bullshit, misleading, false claims of disparity between a corporation and a corporate shell game.

Re:Fucking inaccurate (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307928)

Wikia is not the "company" behind Wikipedia. The Wikimedia Foundation, which is a non-profit foundation, is what's behind Wikipedia. Wikia is a totally separate for-profit company that is run by Jimbo Wales.
No. Not really. It's only separate for admin and accounting purposes. Ultimately Jimbo Wales is the driving ego behind both of these. I know many have claimed here that Jimbo is more distanced from Wikipedia than the media reports - this is however, clearly untrue.

Jimbo is as much hands on in both organizations as Rupert Murdoch is in News Corps projects - amongst other possible parallels between the two men.

Re:Fucking inaccurate (3, Informative)

Eloquence (144160) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308404)

As an elected Board member of the Wikimedia Foundation, I can assure you that your opinion is incorrect. The Board of Directors of the Wikimedia Foundation has 7 members, of which Jimmy is one. He is the Chair Emeritus, which is a title we have given him to recognize his historic role, but which does not have any legal powers or responsibilities associated with it. The Chair of the Foundation is a nice French woman named Florence Devouard; I am the Executive Secretary.

As a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the Wikimedia Foundation also maintains a strict conflict of interest policy. So, Jimmy is not permitted to make any propositions which would advance the corporate interests of Wikia, and has indeed been completely excluded from discussions where his involvement in Wikia was relevant. (This, of course, also goes for any other corporate interests Board members may have.) In this way, Jimmy actually has less influence to promote Wikia as a Board member than he would have as a mere community member.

Jimmy retains some community influence specifically in the English Wikipedia, but that influence is not legally anchored. He speaks frequently to the English language press, though Florence has also done a lot of interviews lately. People seem to construct from this all kinds of bizarre conspiracy theories which have no basis in reality. This is a shame, because the WMF is truly committed to making the world a better place, and needs all the support it can get.

So be inclusionist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18311712)

If you want all the support you can get take all the content you can get. Exclusionism by the very definition of the term drives people away.

Re:Fucking inaccurate (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308408)

Yes, except the community of News Limited editors don't frequently tell Rupert Murdoch to get knotted ...

Wikimedia is not top-down at all. It's nonprofit politics all the way through. (Anyone in academia or the nonprofit sector should be recoiling in horror right now.) I'm occasionally amazed that somehow enough of the politics has been gotten past to get a useful web encyclopedia actually written.

Re:Fucking inaccurate (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18310414)

The encyclopedia is and always has been written by people who are either unaware of, or do not care about, the politics. Surely, as such an experienced contributor, you must be aware of that by now.

IRS tax rules for nonprofit/for-profit links (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308396)

Yes. It's going to be interesting to see if Wales reports this conflict of interest. It should be reported on IRS Form 990 [irs.gov], under "Relationship to Other Organizations". That's where, if you're involved with both a for-profit and a non-profit in the same area, you have to report it.

Form 990 is a public record. GuideStar [guidestar.org] has them all on line, although you have to register there.

wikiality (3, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307510)

Wikia, the company behind wikipedia reveal plans for a new, editable search engine. They say that the goal of the project is to get 5% of the search market.

According to Wikipedia, that goal of 5% will triple in the next six months.

ABOVE IS A JOKE (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308806)

According to Wikipedia, that goal of 5% will triple in the next six months.

FYI, that's a Colbert reference. He tried to have mentions of the white elephant population tripling in 6 months added randomly to WP.

Wikipedia's search sucks ass! (3, Interesting)

Weezul (52464) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307512)

Maybe they're first project should be: make wikipedia's internal search work correctly! It can't even handle the most basic miss-spellings now.

If your serious about this, don't compete with google, instead partner with google and make a wiki.google.com provide google's own search results & ads, but filtered and processed in various ways, which are handled by the wiki.

For example, you want to give only unique sites/hits but this may depend upon the host's url.

Re:Wikipedia's search sucks ass! (3, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307540)

Maybe they're first project should be: make wikipedia's internal search work correctly! It can't even handle the most basic miss-spellings now.

You know, I've never had problems with the wikipedia search engine. More often than not, I enter something I'm looking for and it finds the correct article 95% of the time, with the spelling corrected and the missing words inserted. Of course, I have a vague idea of how what I'm looking for is spelled in the first place, perhaps I'm helping the search engine, but really so far I'm really not disappointed with it.

At any rate, flip through a real paper encylopedia and you'll find the "search engine" (the thesaurus) to be a real pain compared to anything Wikipedia can come up with, therefore I guess for an encyclopedia, I'm happy enough with it.

Surly they can do better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18307598)

Better than "flipping through an encyclopedia" is not good enough (especially with over a million articles). If you have the technology to do better, then why not? The Wikipedia search leaves much to be desired when not searching for something that is the exact name of an article. Searching for something that's in the body of the article is painful at best. From my experience, Google is still the better option.

Re:Wikipedia's search sucks ass! (4, Funny)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307660)

More often than not, I enter something I'm looking for and it finds the correct article 95% of the time, with the spelling corrected and the missing words inserted. Of course, I have a vague idea of how what I'm looking for is spelled in the first place, perhaps I'm helping the search engine, but really so far I'm really not disappointed with it.

Everybody can do a search engine that works with the occasional typo. Real search engines know what I mean when I'm not even close [google.com].

Google, the porn portal (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308812)

Since porn etc searches make up a considerable % of Google's searches it probably makes Google the largest porn portal site by far. "Feeling Lucky isn't called that for nothing!

Editable searching could be quite useful. From the search criteria you can guess the type of porn the person wants and direct them accordingly. Afer all they might type in "lawn mower" but you really know that deep down they want some shaved chick porn.

Re:Google, the porn portal (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308888)

Since porn etc searches make up a considerable % of Google's searches it probably makes Google the largest porn portal site by far. "Feeling Lucky isn't called that for nothing!

Actually I remember google starting as the search engine of choice for people looking up code samples/tutorials and warez.

I guess porn was in this number too.

It's indicative of how a product becomes popular, by picking on the lowest possible common denominators and growing from there. I guess warez and porn are those denominators.

Re:Wikipedia's search sucks ass! (1)

zCyl (14362) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308948)

You know, I've never had problems with the wikipedia search engine. More often than not, I enter something I'm looking for and it finds the correct article 95% of the time, with the spelling corrected and the missing words inserted.

If you compare the success rate of wikipedia's search engine to that of using google with "searchterm site:wikipedia.org", you'll find the google one far more successful. It corrects spelling, prioritizes articles by significance, and usually does a much better job of listing them in the desired order.

Quick spell checker (1)

Teancum (67324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18312516)

You actually hit upon one of my uses for Google:

Being a quick spell checker.

If there is a word that I am writing and I don't want to bother with trying to look it up in a dictionary or can't think of the proper spelling, I'll punch it into google and ignore the search items themselves, other than to see how many other people suck at spelling as bad as I do and even published content with the misspelling.

What is surprising is how many times even deliberate misspellings still turn up content on the Google search.

Re:Wikipedia's search sucks ass! (1)

shudde (915065) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307548)

The parent has a good point..

I'm currently messing around with turning Mediawiki into a basic CMS. Search has been a lot more effective at returning usable results since I changed over to Omega [xapian.org].

Re:Wikipedia's search sucks ass! (1, Informative)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308484)

There's a lotta extensions to help with CMS-like stuff - have a look around http://mediawiki.org/ [mediawiki.org] and ask on mediawiki-l and http://mwusers.com/ [mwusers.com] .

Extensions are good because you can track the main releases and help make existing extensions to this end more robust, which is the secret open sauce.

Re:Wikipedia's search sucks ass! (1)

shudde (915065) | more than 7 years ago | (#18310840)

Yeah I'm doing it for fun though (well my version of fun)... so I prefer just hacking away at mediawiki itself.

Re:Wikipedia's search sucks ass! (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 7 years ago | (#18310960)

Do join the mailing list, though, and see if you can't get fixes into the main tree ... Mediawiki is desperately short of developers.

And in Wikipedia ... the devs are the ones with the real power.

Re:Wikipedia's search sucks ass! (2, Informative)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307560)

The "search" function you use on their website is a known weakness because it relies on MySQL to perform the actual search. They didn't spend a lot of time developing it into something more useful than a basic word finder.

Even Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] recommends using an external search provider for speed and customization of search topics.

Re:Wikipedia's search sucks ass! (1)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308444)

Actually, no - the default MediaWiki search is the crappy MySQL text search. The Wikimedia projects actually use another text search, written in Mono and based on Lucene. Which sucks ass a little less. Marginally.

Use it for Wikipedia, not the entire Internet (2, Interesting)

dws90 (1063948) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307642)

I agree completely - the default wiki search needs major, major work. If they get this search software working and add it to Mediawiki, it'll be a major improvement. As a standalone search engine, however, I don't see the point.

What's the advantage of having user-editable search results? Anyone can submit sites to Google already. I don't know the exact statistics, but I'd imagine that most sites that aren't complete trash end up getting accepted - my site is a jumble of code I put together to learn PHP and MySQL, and looks like something out of 1995. It got included just fine. Therefore, the only difference this search engine would have is the inclusion of Google's rejects.

Then we have the editing. Don't get me wrong - I'm a big fan of Wikipedia and believer in the "everyone can edit" system. Nevertheless, I really don't see how free editing can be useful in a search engine. I remember back when Google was first released, one of the things that made it so special is that none of the results were placed by hand. Other search engines placed higher-paying customers at the top (I have no idea if they still do that - I never use anything but Google these days) and consequently the results tended to have problems. User-editing will likely have an even worse affect, with people putting sites that don't belong on top before those that do.

Yes, there will be the community to catch that, but there's a major difference between an encyclopedia and a search engine. In an encyclopedia, there is a limited number of articles, and each one is about a very specific subject matter. There are an infinite number of search possibilities, and very few of them describe only one thing. For example, I'm a big fan of Heroes. Therefore, I go to the search engine and edit the search for "Mr. Bennet" (one of the characters) to list some sites about him before everything else. Then my evil clone, swd09, comes along. He is a big fan of Pride and Prejudice, and changes my edit to list sites about Mr. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice before everything else. I then change it back, and an edit war begins. In an encyclopedia, it could eventually be settled by virtue of the fact that an article is about one or the other. If someone tries to put information about Mr. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice in the Heroes article, it's clear that they're in the wrong. In a search engine, though, how can anyone say whether Mr. Bennet from Heroes or Mr. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice is more important? There's no way to come to a true consensus. To solve the problem, the administration will have to put its foot down and arbitrarily decide, and we end up with a non-user edited system without the neutrality of an algorithm.

Re:Use it for Wikipedia, not the entire Internet (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307892)

In a search engine, though, how can anyone say whether Mr. Bennet from Heroes or Mr. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice is more important?
Your search returned results for two different subjects:-

"Mr. Bennet" from "Heroes" (Click link for all results on this subject)
(Top 5 results follow)
[blah]
"Mr. Bennet" from "Pride and Prejudice" (Click link for all results on this subject)
(Top 5 results follow)

Complete results list follows:-
[blah]
Displaying the top 10 results from each category:-
[etc]

Re:Wikipedia's search sucks ass! (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308448)

I searched for "white hous" -- this is what I got back:

#1 Maui Interscholastic League
#2 The Hospital (TV series)
#3 Edith Matilda Thomas
#4 Song Xian

wtf is this shit?!

Re:Wikipedia's search sucks ass! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18312538)

Maybe they're first project should be: make wikipedia's internal search work correctly! It can't even handle the most basic miss-spellings now.

If your serious about this...


Yes, I can see why you'd be interested in that...

Re:Wikipedia's search sucks ass! (1)

theGoldenApple (1074557) | more than 7 years ago | (#18313327)

don't blame wikipedia for your inadequacies with the english language. first learn the difference between they're their and there, then your and you're and maybe also realize that 'misspelling' is a word.

to stay on topic, i never really need to use wikipedia's search function. google typically lists the wikipedia page on my search topic as one of the first links in the results. plus i have my obligatory google search out of the way to continue my research post-wiki browsing.

Notability criteria. (1)

O'Laochdha (962474) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307654)

Well, you'd better hope no one tries to search for a webcomic on this thing.

Re:Notability criteria. (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308184)

Well, you'd better hope no one tries to search for a webcomic on this thing.
No, on the contrary. A fanboy of said obscure webcomic will try to include it and make it a prominent result on all related searched, even if 99.999% of people aren't likely to be searching for it. For example:-

You searched for "BBC". Results in order of importance follow:-

#1 RESULT:- "Brian Robert Coleman", usually known as Bri, initials BRC, but in volume 3, episode 24, his friend once called him "BBC" by mistake because someone told him Brian's middle name was "Bob".
#2 RESULT:- "Bob Brown cafe", a cafeteria on the Buttfuck University of Illinois campus, sometimes called BBC (*).
#3 RESULT:- British Broadcasting Corporation

(*) Well, a couple of times anyway, by one of the staff there until she left a couple of months ago.

Re:Notability criteria. (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308198)

(#1 was supposed to read something like...

"Brian Robert Coleman", a character in the video gaming comic strip "Furry vs. Obscura", usually known as Bri....)

Local search? (1)

wallyghost (596530) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307704)

Will this include any attempt at local search? This seems the weakest area in search right now to me. From what I can tell the information gets online from the old paper directories getting scanned and put in databases, but in a very imperfect way (okay, I briefly worked on this once). It's a hard problem to take all the blocks of text and pull out the relevent fields in a way that works across all the different formats of directory listings and ads as they appeared in paper yellowpages, etc. Always seemed to me the wrong way to go about it. Instead a wikipedia type setup with the proprieters of the businesses perhaps given special weight on confirming the accuracy of their own information, but also with freedom from corporate control on information such as reviews, etc. Perhaps with the current scanned in information as a starting point (but are their copyright problems with this info?) Maybe this has already been done somewhere but hasn't gotten critical mass?

Biased search results? (1)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307736)

With the inevitability of it having funding by advertising, there's a chance the search results will be more biased towards returning links to companies that pay more, yes I know Google work like this with their officially sanctioned adverts on the top & side of the search results but what's to stop companies editing the main results to bias towards them?

Disambiguation (5, Insightful)

Sukhbir (961063) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307768)

The thing that really rocks about Wikipedia's search is the Disambiguation function. Even Google does not have something like this.

Re:Disambiguation (2, Insightful)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 7 years ago | (#18310190)

That has nothing to do with Wikipedia's search functionality. People are required to manually build a disambiguation page, collate entries, and redirect others.

Re:Disambiguation (1)

zobier (585066) | more than 7 years ago | (#18312346)

The thing that really rocks about Wikipedia's search is the Disambiguation function. Even Google does not have something like this.
Yeah actually they do [google.com.au] (that was the quickest example I could think of, not the best).

A new search engine has search advantages..... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307818)

... but as it ages it becomes more difficult to so quickly find what you are searching for.

there is an upside and down side to what is proposed.

The upside is that you might get better results, the downside is that might not get any result as to what you are searching for, unless.....

It really all depends on how the programmers and users map all the possible findings.
I'd imagine that some sort of thesaurus like plan of classification and tabular synopsis of categories could allow all to be found by providing refinement focus, without trying to refine the initial search text. But rather a refinement of what all is found from such search text.

But we will see.

However, the most notable down of this is that a for profit company will be getting free labor and brain work.

Anyone up for a non-profit effort.......... OR maybe Google can do it given it's resources already existing.

And....Do we really need more search engine web crawlers? (vs. better ability to sort thru what is already found.)

For profit means advertising dollars to motivate bias injection.

I mean what would happen of free TV put all commercials on a specific channel so to leave shows commercial free?

Web search engines are no different when applying ad income.

So with this in mind, it seems clear that a commercial free version will do better.
TO research this AD effect, perhaps a ad based version of wikipedia needs to be created.

I'm hopeful (1, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307828)

Google has become less and less relevant. Way too often I google for a search item, and that item isn't anywhere in the results page at all.

So... this ain't my day. I tried to find a very good example of this, so I put, in quotes, the name of what I thought was a little known group even when they were still together 35 years ago and googled ["joe byrd and the field hippies" lyrics].

Damn, Google must have fixed it. The last time I googled for that I got tons of lyrics sites, none of which had Joe Byrd. This time the first entry is Wikipedia (which is the first place I look for lyrics or track listings any more) and all the rest are relevant as well.

Kudos to Google, good luck to Wales. I'm still hopeful, and besides, an open source search engine can only be a GOOD thing.

Didn't we already run this story and I said... (0, Troll)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 7 years ago | (#18307832)

.. a Wikipedia like editable search engine would be no use if a bunch
of politically correct environmental-marxists run the show?

They already have 50 percent of the search market (4, Insightful)

ckedge (192996) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308002)


They might not realize it, but they already have 50 percent of the search market. At least 50 percent of the "Intelligentsia" search market.

Fifty percent of the stuff I used to "look up" through a google search - I now get through wikipedia. You just have to be smart enough to know that the info you are looking for is most likely in wikipedia. And it most often is. Especially since wikipedia is so open - they've got articles for tons and tons of things that no mainstream encyclopedia would ever touch. I no longer use "fan sites" or "episode guide companies" for the episode guides of TV Series, they're all in wikipedia, and the layout and presentation is even better.

Precisely (2, Insightful)

metamatic (202216) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308080)

Wikipedia is already a search engine, because the no original content rule means that it doesn't contain anything that isn't summarized from somewhere else, usually somewhere on the web.

Mod Parent UP! (1)

Adeptus_Luminati (634274) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308400)

I can see it now... Google acquires Wikipedia, news @ 11

I don't know about 50%, but with me they've easily attained 5-10% of my searches.

Adeptus

Re:They already have 50 percent of the search mark (2, Insightful)

geo.georgi (809888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18309278)

You make a good point, but this is mostly true only in english.
In other languages you get much less from the wikipedia.

Re:They already have 50 percent of the search mark (1)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18310142)

I find WikiPedia's search not as good as google (fixing typo's and such), so I tend to do most of my searches with google, adding "wiki" as a keyword, and the relevant wiki articles typically shows up as the first matches. Works well.

If a Wikinews article were this inaccurate... (4, Insightful)

brion (1316) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308122)

...at least it would get corrected. ;)

This sentence needs another verb or something (3, Funny)

TheCreeep (794716) | more than 7 years ago | (#18308178)

The service does not yet an official release date.
So when will it do an official release date?

Behavioural better than editable (3, Insightful)

cyberianpan (975767) | more than 7 years ago | (#18309570)

Problem is this will require a small band of fanatics to do the editing. Now for the "central/core-cultural" stuff that you might expect in an encyclopedia this model may work but web searches are probably more long tail/niche. Not sure that the editing group could ever be representative. Furthermore the risk of bias on small sample size gets even larger. Some of the bias mightn't even be conscious: e.g. exhibiting a preference for a rigourous page over a "dummies guide" (which might be more popular/widely useful).

Much better would be a behaviour based search engine that inferred when users were un/happy with results- e.g. user doesn't come back for more searches or click more links on existing return.Also even say if a user does a "poor" search firstly & then uses "clearer" terms then engine ought in future suggest the "clearer" terms as alt search or even return some of the results. Indeed even better the engine might "cluster" you with other similar users & retunr more relavant results (e.g. effectively inferring that you prefer rigourous complete guides rather than dummies intros).

This would be simpler & actually rely on the wisdom of masses rather than some central command editors, in fact this type of thinking was behind PageRank.

Wikipedia is a FAILURE. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18312640)

Wikipedia is a mess. Many of its articles remain barren, even after all these years, while others are bloated with useless information and anecdotal nonsense. Plus tons of external links and SPAM. Even after all that crap is excised what's left is often innaccurate and unreliable.

And as for the Wikipedia concept? LOL --- that's a failure too! Many of Wikipedia's most prominent articles are LOCKED! The whole system appears to be controlled by a cartel of admins whose full time jobs are to LOCK articles and DELETE changes at will. They run the show; normal people have NO ACCESS to VAST SECTIONS of the website.

Why can't people just admit this thing's a failure and move on?
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