If you've been following the exciting world of search engines (only said slightly in jest) you know that Google keeps increasing its market share, and that the only way that wanna-be MSN Live is even getting any traction is by forcing everyone to upgrade Internet Explorer to IE7, which conveniently resets everyone's default search engine to the Microsoft solution. Hmmm... okay.
Meanwhile, Jimmy Wales, the founder and creator of Wikipedia, has come out with news that he's building a human-powered search engine called Wikiasari (I have no idea what the name means, sorry) with funding from Amazon.com. Amazon, you might recall, have a failed search engine of their own called A9, and even with the offer of special discounts on Amazon.com purchased for A9 users, they still can't get anyone to use it. No wonder they're interested.
But should we be interested in Wikiasari?
I don't think so.
The problem isn't that the search engine might not be interesting or useful, the problem is that to even compete in the world of search engines you have to fight the incredibly strong powers of momentum
, of people just not wanting to bother with something different. Regardless of how wonderful Wikiasari might be (and I'm skeptical it'll work at all because of spammers and other cons) (recall that they killed DMOZ, for example), the only way people will try it is if Google really starts failing as a search engine.
The weird thing is that the media is writing about it with the sort of hype usually reserved for Google itself, talking about how Wikiasari might be a "Google killer" and a "serious threat to Google's marketshare". I just don't see it.
What's your take? Would you switch search engines "just because", or do you find that your favorite search engine is hard-wired into your fingers at this point in the evolution of the Internet?
I have a longer article on this subject available on my Business Blog too: Wikiasari threatens Google? I don't think so. if you'd like to engage in a discussion on this topic too.