Jim Wales and his Wikia crew released Wikia Search (alpha) early this morning. No surprise some pundits downgraded the search site immediately. Hard to say what they expected.
The search pages will take some time to form but the social element is inviting. Wikia Search is a social search site where search and the social elements are intertwined. Facebook and MySpace are social networking sites that have little or nothing to do with search.
The interesting aspect of the Wikia Search is people on the network determine what search results are pertinent.
It's an open palette where the participants have a say in the site. Everyone is an editor, not just a profile.
The implications for local will sort out over time. Like Facebook, every business owner should be able to have a personal profile filled out. If you own a pet supply store in Dallas or a used book store in Bakersfield you can place your local footprint on the search results pages. Once there befriend everyone with your local profile keywords, work the network.
If Wikia Search finds widespread acceptance, early adopters will be rewarded for getting involved in from the start.
Here is a quote from Jimmy Wales,
of search, the functions that are normally done behind closed doors.
There will be many things that users can do, publicly, to rate urls,
guide the spider, blacklist, whitelist, etc.
These things all rely upon having some notion of "trust". In a wiki,
the activity of users is more intimate and conversational, and trust
emerges through dialog and debate. In this context, clicking to rate a
url, there is much less need for dialog and debate, and so it seems
unlikely to me that solely through that process users could come to know
each other well enough to really judge who is doing good (or bad).
The social graph provides a more explicit look at that. Plus, it's fun. :)