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December 24, 2006

Wikiasari Mania - The Facts, The Myths & Hysteria!

By Li Evans

Timesonlinescreenshot What happens when a story is published that mentions a "Google Killer", but only manages to get part of the facts right?  Hysteria - that's what.  The blogosphere took a story that was published by the London Times and ran.  They ran, and ran, and ran.  I believe I've read every article out there on this to get to the bottom of what is true and what isn't.

UPDATE:  Search Wikia has updated their page.

Lets see if I can help everyone make sense of this.  James (Jimmy/Jimbo) Wales, the founder of Wikipedia talked to London Times reporter James Doran about the new software project "Wikiasari".  Mr. Wales gives Doran some great quotes, everything from how current search is broken to how human powered search is great.  Example quote from Wales:

Google is very good at many types of search, but in many instances it produces nothing but spam and useless crap. Try searching for the term ‘Tampa hotels’, for example, and you will not get any useful results.

The problem isn't with the quotes, the problem comes with the reporter's assumptions on a couple key, very important points that the article makes.  The article assumes that Amazon is part of this project.  If you are a savvy tech or search professional, the way it is stated leaves you with the impression this new "Google Killer" will be a replacement for A9.  The author also goes on to give a name to the search project calling Wikiasari  ("wiki" for "quick" in Hawaiian, and "asari" for rummaging search in Japanese).

This must have hit all the alerts people have set up for "Google" and "Wikipedia" because the blogosphere was set on fire.  ZDNet alone, had 3 articles on this within 24 hours.  The news aggregators were churning out all the collective of articles on Wikiasari, too.  TechCrunch's Michael Arrington, not to be scooped on anything new, went to work on an "exclusive" screenshot of the new WikiSearch/Wikiasari.

The problem is - a lot of this information is wrong.  Mr. Wales is now on a mission to correct all the mis-information out there.  If you reading Niall Kennedy's blog entry about Wikiasari,(which is very insiteful!) and then the Walescommentscomments from Wales you find out two things:  1) Amazon has nothing to do with it and 2) Wikiasari is only the software's name, not the search engine's name.  Wales gives a link back to Wikia's search home page.

You get Wikia's search home page and that's where you find out that TechCrunch is completely wrong.

"Update: The TechCrunch story is also wrong. This project has nothing to do with the screenshot they are running, and this search project has nothing to do with Wikipedia."

There's a lot of speculation going around, so much it will make your head spin.  However, here are some facts:

  • Wikiascreenshot_1 Widiapedia founder James Wales is planning on launching a new search engine first quarter 2007.
  • Amazon nor A9 is not involved with the project
  • It will be a "people-powered" search engine
  • It will be built as open-sourced
  • Wikiasari is the software name, not the Search Engine name

Now I leave you with the round up of all the links for all the stories, however, I do not vouch for how factual these articles are.  Most of the information is based off the original London Times artice

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Wikiasari Mania - The Facts, The Myths & Hysteria!:

» Wikiasari Mania - The Facts, The Myths & Hysteria! from Openpedia.org
[Source: Search Marketing Gurus Search Marketing Tips, Advice, Strategies & Tactics From Internet Marketing Professionals] quoted: What happens when a story is published that mentions a "Google Killer", but only manages to get part of the facts ... [Read More]

» Wikiasari Mania - The Facts, The Myths & Hysteria! from
Check out the hysteria that ensued once the London Time assumed a lot of things wrong, along with TechCrunch about the new Wikia Search Engine coming in 2007. [Read More]

» Wikiasari, Community Search Engine; New Search Engine by Wikipedia Founder from Search Engine Roundtable
Wow, tons of buzz over the weekend over a new search engine started by Jimmy Wales, founder of the Wikipedia. The new engine is to be named wikiasari. The story was broken on The Times in the UK, where it... [Read More]

» Wikipedia Founder To Launch Wikiasari Search Engine Early 2007 from Search Engine Land: News About Search Engines & Search Marketing
Founder of Wikipedia plans search engine to rival Google by The Times unveils a new search engine named Wikiasari. The new search engine has investment backing from Amazon and others of over $4 million in capital. The "exclusive screen capture" Techcru... [Read More]

» Wikiasari Launching ? from ITechTips
Jimmy Wales, the founder of wikipedia is launching a search engine powered by people. The new wikia search engine project is named Wikiasari and will apply crowd sourcing features to search engine results, letting individual users r... [Read More]

» Wikipedia Search to compete with Google from The Software Abstractions Blog
Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, has announced that his for-profit company, Wikia Inc, will be launching an internet search engine to compete with Google and Yahoo!. According to the Times of London : Mr Wales has begun working on a [Read More]

» Wikiasari Mania - The Facts, The Myths & Hysteria! from
What happens when a story is published that mentions a "Google Killer", but only manages to get part of the facts right? Hysteria. This article help everyone make sense of this. [Read More]


Merry Christmas,
A new "people-powered" search engine is expected to be launched in the first quarter 2007. It is assumed that its name will not be WikiSearch nor Wikiasari. So what name should it be called? Now name guessing game starts!

hey thanks for that post, I only just recently read about it myself and blogged what I thought. I was still a bit undecided about it all and exactly what it meant but things are a little bit clearer now, thanks


I remember that. That was quite a riot. Thanks for clearing it up here. The Internet is the worst gossip chain there is.

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