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Wikimedia’s Secret Search Engine Project Under Interrogation

Question asked by Debasmita Banerjee in #SEO on Feb 16, 2016
Debasmita Banerjee
Debasmita Banerjee · Feb 16, 2016
Rank B3 - LEADER
Wikimedia foundation, the parent organization of information hub Wikipedia.org has finally decided to launch its own search engine in a bid to enforce the democratization of content by retaining its not for profit organization status.

Last year, the Wikimedia foundation was granted a large sum of $250,000 from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to develop a search engine based on CirrusSearch, a MediaWiki extension that will provide publicly curated, transparent, open source, unbiased and reliable content to the seeker.

San-Francisco based Wikipedia claimed that in order to stand out from other search engines, one needs to provide unbiased information to the user with minimal advertisement. Wikipedia is confident that their new search engine may go a long way in enhancing the internet experience as a whole.

However, the Wikimedia foundation and the Wikipedia community were involved in an internal conflict of sorts and failed to converge at a particular idea. Going completely against the ideology of Wikipedia, the Wikimedia team had initially kept it a secret from the Wikipedia community, the editorial board extensively credited for maintaining the content standard in Wikipedia.


knowledge_SE
The First Look of Knowledge Engine

Jimmy Wale, the founder of the Wikimedia founder claimed that the project undertaken would vastly improve the searching methods within Wikipedia and would in no way attempt to compete with Google. Although such a declaration has been released, the leaked information indicates the contrary.

The upcoming search engine named ‘Knowledge engine’ would take at least six years to be complete. In a recent press release, Wikipedia assigned a 16 months’ periodic growth, in which four important points including discovery, advisory, community and extensions will be under scrutiny.

Signpost, Wiki’s internal newspaper had previously taken the initiative to announce the business deal between the Knight foundation but the Wiki community had stood up against Wikimedia for highlighting the concealment of such an action and this even resulted in the removal of Wikimedia trustee member James Heilman. Such an incident was completely unexpected from a highly respected company such as Wikipedia.

It will be interesting to see how the new search engine takes shape and whether it will truly be a threat to Google.

Source: Wikipedia Signpost Posted in: #SEO
Ankita Katdare
Ankita Katdare · Feb 17, 2016
Rank A1 - PRO
Samantha from Wikimedia was in touch with us and she clarified about several points raised in this article. So, here's what she has shared with us:

Debasmita Banerjee
Wikimedia foundation, the parent organization of information hub Wikipedia.org has finally decided to launch its own search engine in a bid to enforce the democratization of content by retaining its not for profit organization status.
We do not have plans to build a new search engine, nor do we aim to compete with any other company. Our objective is to improve people’s ability to find content across Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects. As the first phase of undertaking these improvements, we received a grant to research how people access and interact with Wikimedia content.

Debasmita Banerjee
Going completely against the ideology of Wikipedia, the Wikimedia team had initially kept it a secret from the Wikipedia community, the editorial board extensively credited for maintaining the content standard in Wikipedia.
This is inaccurate. The grant was approved by the Foundation Board in December, and we published a press release and blog post to announce the start of the Wikimedia Discovery project in early January.

Debasmita Banerjee
Jimmy Wale, the founder of the Wikimedia founder claimed that the project undertaken would vastly improve the searching methods within Wikipedia and would in no way attempt to compete with Google. Although such a declaration has been released, the leaked information indicates the contrary.
The Wikimedia Discovery project was initially scoped over months of discussions and different iterations of what the then-titled, ‘Knowledge Engine,’ (which was later changed entirely) might look like to improve search functionality across the Wikimedia projects. Documents have been developed and shared at various points in the development process of the Wikimedia Discovery project. This may have led to confusion.

The aim of the project has always been to improve the way people find and explore knowledge on the Wikimedia projects.

It’s important to note that the current research and exploratory phase will guide all next steps for the Wikimedia Discovery project. While the grant outlines a general direction, we will be working with the Wikimedia community to evaluate the results of our research, gauge, and collaboratively determine the way forward for Wikimedia Discovery.

Debasmita Banerjee
The upcoming search engine named ‘Knowledge engine’ would take at least six years to be complete.
Initially, the project was referred to as the ‘Knowledge Engine,’ however, the the name of the project has since changed to ‘WikimediaDiscovery’ to better encapsulate the scope and goals of the project.

We recommend reading more on this, here: Wikimedia Blog

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