This blog has moved to its new permanent home at http://nomadishere.com.
NewScientist interviewed Jimmy Wales. The final question’s answer was the most satisfying to an open-source-lover such as my self.
Q: “What’s your plan for search?”
A: “It’s too early for specifics, but one thing that has worked is an alliance in which people contribute to a free software project. We saw this succeed with Apache, the open-source webserver. Apache was a tiny group of volunteers, yet the vast majority of its code has come from companies who paid people to work on it. It’s essentially an industrial consortium that has been able to fend off Microsoft’s closed-source webserver. So it makes sense for second-tier search companies who are falling behind Google to contribute to a free search software project that will make us equal to Google in terms of search quality.”
An alliance in which people contribute to a free search software project that will equal (maybe surpass) Google in terms of search quality? I’m all for it. This could reposition advertising mechanisms and possibly reshape the way we search for, and interact with, information, products and services. Good or bad aside, my gut tells me its a step in the right direction.