Believers in the wisdom of crowds will tell you that wikis, those collections of anyone-can-edit Web pages, are resistant to vandalism. Not so Jimmy Wales's Wikia Search, an attempt to build a search engine along wiki lines, which he is once again touting, this time to Forbes. The search results for "Jimmy Wales" currently display a header with a picture of a smiling woman. Who is she, and what does she tell us about Wikia Search?
She is none other than Christine Wales, Jimmy's wife, who is divorcing him. A cruel jibe? Certainly. And predictable. "Obviously lots of people are going to put a link to something horrible into search results just to see what happens," Wales tells Forbes. But it's informative all the same. What the picture's inclusion by some online vandal shows is that Wikia Search, Wales's promised "Google killer," is nothing more than a playground for juvenile twerps. That in turn confirms the maxim that every online community is shaped by the personality of its founder.