Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has the best job ever: Flying around the world on other people's dime, getting drunk with worshipful fanboys, and bedding women who want their online-encyclopedia entries edited. His latest globetrotting gig: cochair of a World Economic Forum event in the Middle East. ("Has Jimmy been asked to attend because of his deep understanding of the cultures and economics of the Middle East, or is it because the organizers think that like Wikipedia, they can edit the history and change things at a whim, without anyone being accountable?" asks former Wikipedia administrator Danny Wool.) How can he afford to pursue such sidelines?
Because he has an exceedingly tolerant employer. Wikia, the for-profit startup he created after realizing he'd never make a fortune from Wikipedia, is betting on Wikia Search, a "Google-killing search engine" Wales bragged about in sex chats with ex-lover Rachel Marsden. Wales has talked about moving from San Francisco to New York to be closer to the search project's team. The notion of Wikia Search is that, as with Wikipedia, volunteers can build a better search engine than Google's experts. The reality? According to a user who's been working on the project since 2006, nothing is getting done. His screed, sent to an internal Wikia mailing list:
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 22:13:24
To:"Mailing list for Search Wikia" ,"Search Wiki" ,"Jimmy Wales" , jer ,email@example.com
Subject: [Search-l] Sorry to do this but its coming, yes a rant :-(
Right, im afraid the time has come once again where i have been wondering to my self again, and i feel that things need to be said, so here they are.
*Whats happening with the project. AFAIK overall (and i know somethings have happened) but *very* little seems to have happened since the launch. Now i know that things are probably happening with the team, but any chance of actually telling the users about this, cos its not looking good from here atm.
Ive copied in the so called pillars of search
* Transparency - riiiiiiight :-(
* Community - hmmm contribute to stale projects?
* Quality - well....
* Privacy - hmm yes that seems to have been done to an extent ( by the community mind)
Ive been on the project since dec 2006, and so have been waiting along time for this to happen, so its not purely a case of i want everything to happen NOW, i just want it to look like SOMETHING will happen SOON.
*This brings me onto the next topic of where is the project going??? There has been practically no progress, and frankly i cant see much being done from my point. The launch has happened, many people were interested, contributed but have now left, because NOTHING has happened. so overall the net gain of launching the project?? bad press and a few (relative to the web) minis.
*Many things have been promised by various people, which havent happened. Most specifically this has come from a certain member of staff, one specifically, that has said that they will do many things, but even the most basic of tasks seem to have not happened. so Broken/missed promises. Well iirc (name here) said he would make sure that the about pages etc were created, hmm... (http://alpha.search.wikia.com/about.html in case you forgot where those were). This is a wikia project, any chance of getting ANY involvement/input/co-ordination from the team who, ultimately, want us to make them more successfull and a profit (if were being frank).
Now i know i havent been that active recently on the wiki, but i have been reading the mailing lists and talking in irc, but the main reason for me not being active on the wiki, is mainly the fact that i just dont have the motivation to do anything because of the above. Frankly atm its a stale project, but hopefully this rant (which i hate doing) will mean that the project will hopefully become better.
If i have offended anyone above then i am sorry, but i feel that certain things need to be said right now, in order to make the project better, which is my aim.
Many thanks and look forward to the responses to this, especially from wikia staff
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