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> Why use Wikia?, It's run by people you trust
post Thu 14th July 2011, 9:35pm
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Ray King seems to have posted some old seminar notes from a Wikimania summit that was spammed addressed by Jimbo Wales and Gil Penchina. In hindsight, it's pretty funny.

Wikia / Jimmy Wales & Gil Penchina

Vision - the world's largest sustainable free-content, user controlled media company
Must be profitable, free content, communities have control, etc.
focused on "all human knowledge" - everything not just the encyclopedia
Wikipedia is encyclopedia, Wikia is magazines and books
3,000 communities in parallel
Games, Entertainment, Sports, Literature, Magazines
Psychology wiki with thousands of articles
users explaining and discussing their own situations
Why use Wikia
People you trust, Jimmy, Angela & hired Wikipedians
No installation or maintenance
Stable reliable hosting
Large communities so you are not alone
Stand alone wikis joining wikia gain momentum
Single sign on to all wikias
Features to grow your wiki and encourage new editors to join you
Gil on software features
Gil formerly from eBay
want millions of people to read Wikia, but the people who write Wikia are the most important
WikiMarkup not easy so they're making it easier
ArmchairGM demo
Can vote
Bloglike things
can add comments
More dynamic user pages
Gifts and awards (like barnstars)
People I trust, people I don't trust (friends/foes)
My Activity (people I've recruited, etc.)
Fan networks (Boston Redsox Fan Network)
Integrated Google Maps
Key: more social / more fun
WYSIWYG editor, they're looking at FCKEditor
Simple stuff for newbies
They provide hints for categories
Image tagging, like Facebook
new skinning coming / avatars, etc.
in SecondLife and some other games, you can now see Wikia information
Key is making it more accessible

Jimmy Wales on Wikia Search

Wikia is completely separate from WikiMedia / Wikipedia
Without OpenSource software it might cost $5-10MM to build a website
With OpenSource, $500
Why not do something similar in search?
2007 - Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask
2008-9 - WikiaSearch, Grub, GFDL, Lucene
Building the stack with free and interoperable components
Search Tools
Public algorithms for ranking - you might not do it every day, but you can
Publicly available crawl of the web
FastCompany - Google's worst nightmare - Jimmy Wales <- where to find info and get on mailing list
Jeremie Miller - founder of Jabber / top 20 open source developer
invented XMPP messaging protocol
Shares philosphy of openness and democratic control
Transparency - openness in how the systems and algorithms operate, both in licenses and APIs
Collaboration - everyone is able to contribute in some way / strong social and community focus
anyone can rank/rate URLs
Quality - significantly improve the relevancy and accuracy of search results and the searching experience
Privacy - "Pursuing the Holy Grail of Privacy and Protection"
I can see what you edit, but not what you're reading
They just bought Grub / started in 2000 as a web crawler, later bought by LookSmart, later bought by Wikia.
The two key developers are excited about Wikia purchasing it and making it OpenSource again, etc.
What do they need help with
Wikipedians understand the "WikiWay" of social cooperation better than anyone
How to have community control while keeping spammers out?
What is NPOV in search results?
WikiText is for text, what is for URL management?
Download Grub! - Windows only ... groan


are all of the extensions shown in ArmchairGM opensourced? - no, but let me (Gil) know if you want any of them, the intention is to do so
when can we use WikiaSearch? - short answer, not sure yet, goal is to have something up by the end of the year
They know the first version is going to be terrible, but hopefully by the end of the year it's decent, but they'll need a year or two to get it going
will there be advertisements? - yes, advertising is a good business on the Internet, we want to use that model in the service of making the search free
will there be mechanisms to prevent Google bombing - I hope so
If Google decided you were going about it in the right way and they released all of their stuff in an open way what would that do to your project - I guess we'd stop, we'd have won ... this is a big idea, a political statement, so I'm not sure we'll succeed. Some of the second and third tier players might go open to try to undermine Google's dominance.
There has been a concern in Japan that Google might stop a website from showing up, some say that Google does that. What happens if a company comes to you and wants a site out of the index. - I don't believe Google does things like that, but I can't be sure, it's a black box. We want to make things as open and transparent as possible so people can always look in the logs, etc.
People ask for their articles to be deleted every day (at Wikipedia), but we don't do that because it's not the right thing to do.
Now that you are in a "for profit" company, Wikia, will you be able to stay on the high road? - I'm a complete lunatic and I warned all of the investors, Gil and I have enough stock to control the company no matter what happens. I still like Google but it's changed from the days of "don't be evil". Bad business decision for Google (censorship in China), etc. When the wall comes down, the Chinese will remember that Wikipedia did not censor.
to what extent will you leverage social tagging and are you doing things to deal with systematic bias? - yes, we envision social bookmarking, tagging, etc. On Systemic bias, I hope we bring a lot of the Wikipedia culture with us. When do we need to bring in an outside point of view. This applies to search results. Google says "it's all about the algorithm", but that contains bias too of course. If we have good healthy community control we can come up with something good.
You'll need the raw/unindexed data, as far as I can see this is a copyright problem, far beyond fair use. - The Internet Archive archives the entire web and if what they're doing is legal is a big question. What needs to be made available is the Index, not the actual content. The Index is factual data about what is on the web which is not a copyright issue.
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