Wikia, a for-profit group of user generated wiki sites that was founded by Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales in 2004, is now a profitable company. CEO Gil Penchina says the company’s revenues grew 4x in 2009 while they kept costs in check. Late last year the company reported strong financial results, but hadn’t yet reached true profitability.
He won’t disclose what revenues are, but the company currently… → Read More
Are normal people finally starting to warm to wikis as publishing tools? Wikia, which hosts 50,000 enthusiast sites on the same wiki software as Wikipedia, is claiming profitability of sorts on strong growth. Over the past six months, Wikia sites (which also includes Wikianswers) have increased unique visitors 76 percent in the U.S. to 6.5 million in July, 14.2 million worldwide (comScore).
The… → Read More
When Jimmy Wales & co earlier this year quietly added Wikianswers to the host of products launched under the Wikia umbrella, we weren’t the only ones who were skeptical about its potential to make waves. Did the Internet really need yet another Q&A site, we wondered?
It is going to take more than just an open search platform to take on Google. Wikia co-founder Jimmy Wales announced today that he is shutting down Wikia Search, the company’s experiment in creating better search results through crowdsourcing. Wikia Search attempted to port the Wikipedia model over to search by allowing anybody to modify results by including new links or moving natural results… → Read More
Here’s a question for you. How many Q&A sites does the Web really need? Already, there is Yahoo Answers, WikiAnswers, Mahalo Answers, Linkedin Answers, ChaCha and dozens beyond. But Wikia (and Wikipedia) co-founder Jimmy Wales thinks there is room for one more.
This has been a brutal month or so for tech layoffs. According to our Layoff Tracker, there have been 19,683 job eliminations at tech companies announced since mid-September, and we’re not even counting the 24,600 people at Hewlett-Packard who are being eliminated as a result of its merger with EDS.
But only five big companies make up more than 90 percent of the layoffs: Xerox (3,000), Dell… → Read More
Update: Wikia has confirmed that about 10 percent of its workers have been laid off, but points out that it is still trying to hire for open positions.
At the beginning of this year, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales officially launched his attempt at a human-powered search engine, dubbed Wikia Search. TechCrunch was not impressed initially, to say the least. Although it has come a long way since… → Read More
Jimmy Wales is opening up the Wikia Search engine to anyone who wants their own data or application to show up in results. Called Wikia Intelligent Search Extensions (WISE), it lets developers create search results based on certain keywords or rules. Wales tells me:
It is like Facebook Apps for search results.
Wikia Search is launching the WISE framework with a bunch of partners: Digg… → Read More
Wikia Search, the human edited search engine which we trashed at launch, continues to make incremental improvements (and thankfully they’ve turned down the “This is a Google-killer” hype machine). Today they did something really smart – they released a Firefox Add-on that lets users add search data without going back to the Wikia Search site itself. That lets casual users… → Read More
Wikia Search is finally ready to play with. Jimmy Wales admits that up until now his company’s project to apply the wiki concept to search: Pretty much sucked. It has not been usable on a day to day basis. We agree. But today, Wikia Search is beginning to suck a lot less. It has only indexed 30 million Websites, but it is finally rolling out a set of editing features that lets searchers… → Read More
Wikimedia Foundation posted their audited 2007 financial statements (I’ve embedded the document below) last week. Their fiscal year actually ends June 30, so these are already almost eight months old, but they reveal some interesting information about the entity that controls Wikipedia nonetheless. Generally Wikimedia publishes these five months or so after the end of the year; this year… → Read More
The organizers of the DLD conference in Munich put on a great show today. One of the more lively sessions was called “Humans Disrupting Algorithms” and featured Wikipedia/Wikia Search’s Jimmy Wales and Mahalo’s Jason Calacanis, moderated by Fortune’s David Kirkpatrick. Jimmy and Jason each gave a brief overview of their human powered search engines. Jason railed on… → Read More
Many of us have waited a year as the Jimmy Wales hype machine promised a human powered search engine that could take on Google. Tonight that search engine launched at alpha.search.wikia.com, and it may be one of the biggest disappointments I’ve had the displeasure of reviewing. First of all, it’s barely a search engine at all. It’s based on the open source Nutch software and… → Read More
The long wait for Wikia Search is over with the alpha version of the service now live. As we wrote December 23, Wikia’s Jimmy Wales is pitching the search engine as a Google competitor; its a strong statement to make but does Wikia Search Alpha take the good fight up to Google? Not yet. I ran a couple of different search terms into Wikia with mixed results. A search for TechCrunch for… → Read More
Well, the waiting appears to be over, and the promised 2007 launch date was technically achieved. Wikipedia/Wikia Founder Jimmy Wales has publicly announced the private beta for Wikia Search – right now. And the public launch is set for January 7. In a note to the Wikia Search email list a few minutes ago, he wrote: From: email@example.com Subject: [Search-l] private pre-alpha invites… → Read More
We’ve waited more than a year for Wikia to launch their human powered search engine. The project was first announced in December last year by Wikipedia/Wikia founder Jimmy Wales. The promise was to return better results than Google and other search engines, using humans to make quality decisions: “Google is very good at many types of search, but in many instances it produces nothing but… → Read More
News of Google most recent project, Knol, came out late last Thursday without, as far as I can tell, much in the way of press pre-briefings. All the major publications were late to the story. Blogs hit it fast, but had nothing to go on other than the brief blog post put up by Google’s Udi Manber announcing the project. Our initial story on Knol is here. From a product perspective, Knol is… → Read More
New wiki-based search engine Mahalo is launching social networking features today at the LeWeb3 conference in Paris. Mahalo is a search engine that focuses on user link submissions and an editorial process to theoretically produce better search results than algorithm-only engines like Google. It first launched in May 2007. The company already pays users for quality submissions. Today, they are… → Read More
It was eleven months ago that Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales first mentioned his vision for a people-powered search engine that would eventually launch under his for profit startup, Wikia. Not much has happened since then, other than a lot of chatter on an email discussion list, and the small acquisition of Grub, a distributed web crawling company, from Looksmart. The official site for Wikia Search… → Read More
Seattle-based Wetpaint, which launched in June 2006, is a hosted wiki site that focuses on great looking sites and making the user interface as easy as possible. A number of wikis have popped up around popular pop culture stuff, as well as more private sites. Tonight they added new feature that should generate a lot of page views – they have fully integrated a forum/message board into every… → Read More
Wikinvest has closed a $2.5 million series A led by DCM and including angels. Wikinvest is just as the name suggests, a wiki for investors. Wikinvest is meant to be a research portal where anyone can contribute information on company profiles, investment concepts, or chart analysis. The site is a competitor with financial profiles and news listed on Yahoo and Google Finance, as well as… → Read More
Caring.com, a website community about elderly care, just announced a $6 million Series A round of financing from DCM and Split Rock Partners. It’s yet another one of the subject-specific knowledge communities to pop up over the last year. The site, as you can guess, is about caring for your parents in their “Golden Years”. It provides articles about dealing with your… → Read More
I love Wikia – CEO Gil Penchina, a former eBay executive, says he works harder than anyone in Silicon Valley at building his startup. I routinely point out to him that his startup doesn’t actually do anything – their wiki software is based on the open source MediaWiki project, Google, Looksmart and FM Publishing handle all the revenue via ad sales, and their users create every… → Read More
Wikia, a for profit wiki site created by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, acquired ArmchairGM for $2 million last year and got into the sports fan business. The site has been slowly rolling out new features. Wikia CEO Gil Penchina described it to me as “Wiki 2.0″ – because it combines the best features of open source wiki software with social networking features like adding… → Read More
Following the decision in January by Wikipedia to strip SEO benefits from outgoing links by adding the link-nofollow tag (see our coverage of how the rule doesn’t apply to certain third party wiki links) the once rampant gaming of Wikipedia has all but disappeared. SEOMoz’s Rand Fishkin posted during the week on a new technique being used that instead of building Google juice to a… → Read More
Wikia has acquired the distributed web crawling engine Grub from Looksmart. Grub utlizes spare computing cycles on users’ computers to index the web, a similar concept to that used by SETI@home in the search for extraterrestrial life. Grub originally started in 2000 and was purchased in 2003 by LookSmart. Grub was shut in 2005 following some minor controversy over the closed source code and… → Read More
There was a lot of controversy recently when Wikipedia announced that all outbound links from the online encyclopedia would include the nofollow tag. The nofollow tag on a link is said to prevent link spamming since some search engines (Google among them) do not count links containing the tag towards any weighing of the destination page. What this means is that a link from Wikipedia will no longer… → Read More