The Wikia Search project, which is now live and can be found at http://www.wikia.com/, officially launched in alpha form on Monday 7 January following a brief private testing period.
In addition to executing basic search queries, users can also do traditional social networking activities, such as creating a personal profile, adding friends, sharing photos and managing privacy settings.
Anyone is able to discuss and rank search results, write and edit Mini Articles and more bringing the company claims more transparency into the search engine process.
“Today marks a significant, albeit initial step in our project to build a search engine”, said Jimmy Wales, co-founder and chairman, Wikia
“We expect Wikia Search to be like fine wine in that it will get better and better as time goes by and more and more people contribute.”
Details about Wikia Search, designed by the same team as the Wikipedia online encyclopedia, first appeared in the news in 2006.
Google supporters have countered this arguing that it will allow humans to manipulate the search process and it is computer-generated results are the fairest way to provide people with information.