Wikiseek has launched. It’s a reasonable idea, searching Wikipedia and sites Wikipedia links to (recalling search engines that have used Dmoz to seed crawls). It’s much faster than Wikipedia’s built in search, but doesn’t satisfy me, as its Wikipedia results are out of date and imcomplete (indicators of the former include turning up deleted articles and finding nothing for ‘wikiseek’).
I find it interesting that Wikiseek’s footer says:
The majority of the revenue generated by Wikiseek advertising is donated to the Wikimedia Foundation.
That’s nice — apparently Searchme, Inc., intends to use Wikisearch to demonstrate its vertical search prowess — and it inspires a potential non-intrusive revenue model for Wikipedia that precisely copies Mozilla’s: sell inclusion in the search box/search page.
This wouldn’t be worth the hundreds of millions annually that tasteful text ads on articles could be (and the ability to fully fund* the Wikimedia Foundation’s mission), but it would surely obviate the need for begging to cover the costs of running Wikipedia.
* If politicians can use that vacuous phrase to indicate they “support education” I can use it in support of funding free knowledge projects.