Jimmy Wales Unimpressed With Powerset’s Wikipedia Search
As startups and established players strive to develop Google-killer search technology, conceptual differences in their approaches make for interesting discussion.
Case in point: Jimmy Wales’ Wikia Search and rival Powerset, which is using Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia project Wales founded, to argue that its semantic engine represents the future of search.
During an interview this week, Wales was asked for his opinion about Powerset and he declared himself unimpressed, at least so far.
For starters, finding content on Wikipedia is quite easy, he said. “I find that search at Wikipedia works perfectly fine.” Plus, indexing Wikipedia content doesn’t pose a major challenge, Wales said.
When Powerset unveiled a test version of its much-awaited semantic search engine last month, Wikipedia played a major role in the marketing push as one of only two Web sites included in the index.
While acknowledging that the scope of its index was extremely limited, Powerset executives said that the engine’s ability to — in their view — improve Wikipedia search reflects what it will do later for Web search in general.
Wales isn’t convinced.