Wikia Search Set to Launch Jan. 7

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has announced a date for the release of his for-profit, open source search tool named Wikia Search, Jan.7, 2008. Wales hopes to challenge Google and the other major players by empowering the users to provide accurate and relavant search results. Somewhat like Jason Calacanis' brainchild Maholo, technology enthusiasts will help rank search results with the aid of algorithms and Web crawlers, ending with a more transparent view of how users get their search results.

Only a select group has been invited to contribute thus far. The Wikia Project also includes software that anyone can use to build wikis and will have a feature that allows users to create their own search engines.