Matthew Buckland broke the first screen shot of Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales’ new venture into the social networking arena, Wikia Search. The screenshot, a user profile page, was taken at a conference of about 100 in South Africa. Wikia Search is being developed under Wales’ umbrella for-profit company, Wikia. According to Buckland:
“Wikia is a separate organisation to Wikipedia and aims to take the wiki concept to every other kind of work, book, or community projects that people might build. It also aims to extend the Wikipedia model beyond just nonprofit, educational and research communities.”
One thing is certain: the screenshot indicates an eerie similarity to Facebook’s user interface. At this time, there are too few details to determine whether or not this product will go to market as a Google competitor or as a Facebook competitor. There has been some buzz surrounding the product over the past year, and the great potential in social search has always been predicted, but we will have to wait to see what direction Wales decides to steer Wikia Search into.