Following the launch yesterday by Wikipedia's creator Jimmy Wales of the the alpha version of Wikia Search, an open-source search engine, bloggers have complained about the low quality of search results, a number of critical reviews have been posted.
Stan Schroeder, a blogger at the popular tech site Mashable, wrote: "Every time I review a new search engine I am instantly reminded of how well Google works. ... All in all, Wikia Search looks like something that was cooked by two guys in one month in a basement.”
The influential Michael Arrington entitled his TechCrunch review "Wikia Search Is a Complete Letdown", and detailed the new search engine's failings, saying "it may be one of the biggest disappointments I've had the displeasure of reviewing".
Wales responded to Arrington's post by reinforcing the alpha status of the search engine and by reminding readers that, like Wikipedia, the Wikia Search relies on a collaborative effort. "It's a project to build a search engine, not a search engine."
In answer to the unflattering comparisons to Google, he wrote: "Google didn't launch a project to build a human-powered search engine, they launched an algorithmic search engine with a clever new idea. So they didn't have to wait for the humans to come in and start building it."
But other commentators praised the idea of a participative search engine. Jeremie Miller, founder of Jabber and Wikia Search Architect, added: "Search is becoming one of the most powerful tools humankind has ever created. Only transparency and open participation will protect these tools from abuse.