Launched in January in Alpha form Wikia Search, an open source project, didn’t exactly set the browsing world on fire. The search engine, however, did house some interesting but dormant features.
One of those was the ability to edit, annotate and re-order search results. This feature has just been added to the site, opening up the possibilities of an editable searching platform.
Now when you use Wikia Search you are given a choice to amend the results. Next to your chosen result, a series of options pop up: Edit, Annotate, Spotlight, Comment, Delete.
Much like any wiki, this gives you some control over what comes up and in what order when you search for things.
Paint it white
There is some measure of control within Wikia Search, in that the search engine offers up white pages that can’t be altered. These pages are monitored by volunteer editors. If you don’t agree with the chosen white pages, though, you can vote to rid them of their immunity. This is said to keep spam and vandalism down.
The creators of Wikia Search have four organisational principles: Transparency, Community, Privacy, and Quality.
A statement on the website says: “Search currently lacks openness in how the systems and algorithms operate, in the form of open source licenses as well as open content and APIs. This must change.”
With these new editable options, Wikia Search has taken one step closer to honouring search transparency.