Wikimania 2007 talk: “Wikia”

“Wikia” talk, intro by Angela, some from Gil, majority from Jimmy Wales.

  • Wikipedia = non-profit reference material.
  • Wikia = Approaching very different material (e.g. gaming wikis; Wikis on really complicated & convoluted shows like “Lost”; POV / personal perspectives). For-profit.

I.e. A magazine focussed wiki instead of neutral reference-focussed wiki.

  • Licensing terms
  • Content censorship
  • Let the communities decide

Why would you use Wikia?

  • No installation or maintenance
  • Stable and reliable hosting
  • Large communities so you are not alone.
  • Single-sign-on.
  • New features. (Details?)

Gil – background is eBay.

  • ArmchairGM.
  • User pages – have pictures.
  • German Wikipedia has concept of “people I trust, and people I don’t”.
  • Can add friends, can track activity of friends and foes.
  • Can see the Geo-Location of other users.

People contribute for 2 reasons:

  • Social activity, make friends, etc.
  • Care passionately about the topic at hand.

Showed the Wikia WYSIWYG editor (Personal comment: I think the momentum on this has been lost because of the delay in releasing the source code externally; rather the momentum now seems to be behind FCKEditor).

Open or closed? Future of search:

  • Free access – search engine project – announced Dec 2006.
  • A lot of confusion about this.
  • How things are rated and ranked is proprietary. Considers Google to be a problem, since search has to be trusted. Building the stack (AKA the LAMP stack), and break out the similar requirements for search.

Open source search:

  • Public algorithms for ranking (i.e. the maths that lead to those results)
  • Make a crawl of the web publicly available.
  • http://search.wikia.com/
  • Bought “grub”, a web crawler.

Search advertising is a proprietary biz model. There will be ads. Wants mechanisms to prevent Google-bombing. (Why? Large-scale distributed google-bombing is kind of rare, although SEO techniques for messing with keywords are painfully common…)

Opposed to Google’s yielding to the Great firewall of China to censor content.

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