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 reorder, add, remove, rate, annotate, and comment on results. It also makes it easier for anyone to try to game the search results. Although, as with Wikipedia, an spammers can be banned by the community. We should see some fierce edit wars on this one.
The Ajax interface lets you drag results up or down the page. Hover the mouse over a result, and a menu appears on the right. You can edit the title or description, and spotlight the result with a yellow highlight.
Here is what the editing mode looks like for a search result:
If you don’t like any of the results you see, you can add your own by simply pasting in the URL.
Wikia Search also allows people to “annotate” results. If you click on “annotate,” it opens up a window with the actual Web page in question. Anything you click on or highlight will be added to the result. For instance, I added Michael’s Twitter photo to the Twitter result for “TechCrunch”:
I also added a comment: “Best way to keep up with Arrington.” If other searchers think those additions are helpful they can rate the result highly, if they think it is spam, they can delete the additions. Wales is relying on the community that grows up around Wikia Search to ban anyone trying to game the system. He is also relying on it to create the best search results. He says:
This is Day 1 for that really active community participation. In terms of what happens next, we will find out in the next couple weeks. How broad, how deep, how much activity.
And if searchers don’t like what they find on Wikia Search, handy Google and Yahoo icons make results from those search engines just a click away.
Here’s a video with Wales demonstrating the new features: