February 3rd, 2007
It was historic, in that it was the first public talk he’s given on search. Why? Well, a little project that’s been occupying the bulk of his attention – Wikia Search – has become quite public after an interview with the New York Times, and its resulting article.
The thrust of Mr. Wales’ presentation surrounded his vision of Wika Search:
To build a free, democratic, transparent search engine.
Search is a fundamental part of the infrastructure of the Internet, therefore of society as a whole.
He believes that search should be three things: transparent, participatory, and free.
Referring to the theory of open source, which at the time of its suggestion, was deemed impossible. “It won’t work!”, insisted leading technology companies like (surprise) Microsoft, Sun, IBM, SAP, and Oracle. Enter: redhat, php, Ubuntu, and more. Guess what? It does work. It works because:
It’s a virtuous (not a vicious) cycle.
More involvement –> fundamental improvement –> open code –> everyone can improve it. And so on.
Next comes open (free) content. “What?! That will never, ever work!”, said such establishments as the New York Times, Financial Times, etc. Enter, for one, Wikipedia. You know, one of the world’s most influential brands? ‘Nuff said.
Back to search, and Wikia. Wika was described, as a whole, as:
Every other kind of book, work, or community that people might build.
Think: library (Wikia) vs. encyclopedia (Wikipedia). Wikia Search relies on three fundamental principles:
1. Transparency: all algorithms are published, testable and researchable. [Open]
2. Participatory: bringing the best elements of Wikipedia and trust networks to the problems of search. This brings the power of human participation to the search process, and relies on the social structure: accountability. It, Mr. Wales believes, empowers people to contributre to something that is of very high quality. The community monitors itself, Wikipedia style. In other words, you have a stake in search. [Human-powered]
3. Free: to change the competitive landscape of search; to encourage global innovation; to disallow disambiguation. An example given was that of a serach for Paris Hilton. Search engines of the now – no matter how often you travel and, let’s say, search for and book a room at the Hilton Hotel in Paris, France – still offer up a slew of sites that link to the infamous “celebrity.” Search of the future (human powered, that is) will at the very least be able to as, ‘did you mean the hotel, or the celebrity?’ [Big idea]
Will Wikia Search be a viable threat to Google? You be the judge. (Or, the participant.)
[Originally blogged over here; thought it was repeating, here.]
January 31st, 2007
For many, Cory Doctorow needs little introduction. He’s co-editor of Boing Boing, one of the world’s most popular blogs (@ 2 million + unique visitors/month), an award winning sci-fi novelist, digital rights activist, and a wickedly brilliant (and nice) human.
Forbes and the World Economic Forum (WEF) tend to agree:
Top 25 Web Celebrities for 2007
WEF’s Young Global Leaders for 2007
I’ve had the chance to meet Cory at the Google Unbound event, and again at NYU’s Free Culture series. He’s been accurately described as a “walking, talking Wikipedia of digital rights” (as I witnessed at NYU), and he’s a self-described ‘nethead’ (meaning he’s been online for as long as he can remember, and has actually written his books online…for years).
To say he’s engaging is a massive understatement. You need only to hear/watch/witness him speak, and you’ll know how very true that is. But, look out. You’d better strap your brain in. Seth Godin on Cory:
I sat next to Cory at a conference today. It was like playing basketball next to Michael Jordan.
We’ll be elaborating on Cory and his work here, up through the event and beyond. For now, here are the details:
WHAT: Interactive Podcast with Cory Doctorow
WHEN: Monday, February 12, 2007 from 1:30-3:00pm PST
HOW: Register here. But hurry!
It’s free, as always, but spaces are limited and you’ll need to register in order to participate.
Cory’s latest short story collection, Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present can be downloaded for free, listened to via podcast , and purchased one of many places (you can get an autographed copy delivered to your door, too).
June 19th, 2006
Our next Waxxi interactive podcast will feature two world-renowned figures in technology and business: Michael Parekh and Michael Arrington.
A founder of Goldman Sachs’ Internet Research group, Michael Parekh was one the early pioneers who helped discover, nurture, and fund the foundations of the web as a lead analyst for the IPOs of such organizations as UUNET, Yahoo!, and eBay. Michael (Mukesh) is a native of India and came to the US in 1977. He is passionate about all things Internet and technology, as well as interesting trends he observes, globally.
In building TechCrunch over the last year, Michael (Mike) Arrington helped lay the foundation for the Web 2.0 world we’re living in today, becoming one of its most highly respected pundits, educators, and analysts. Mike is a former corporate attorney (of Wilson Sonsini fame) who has also helped bring public several companies, and is co-founder of edgeio. He grew up in California and Surrey, England, and lives and works in Atherton.
Together, Michaels Parekh and Arrington represent the core of the Internet, and technology: where it’s been, how it’s evolving, and where it’s going.
The date to join in on this global conversation is Thursday, June 29, 2006 and time is 10:30AM PDT. As always, all you need is a phone and/or Internet connectivity.
By dialing in, you’ll not only hear the entire conversation, but have the chance to be a part of it. We’ll give you instructions when you register, but the process is rather simple: hit two buttons on your phone in order to ‘raise your hand’ to ask a question or make a comment.
Many of our members and participants outside the US will choose to use this feature only. This was tremendously effective and important for our first interactive podcast.
We’ll have more details posted shortly. Stay tuned.