Should we take Wikia more seriously?

One of the big stories of the weekend was Wikia's purchase of the Grub spider from LookSmart and its release under an open source license.

Jimmy Wales
One of the big stories of the weekend was Wikia's purchase of the Grub spider from LookSmart and its release under an open source license.

Media around the world went into hype -rdrive, repeating Jimmy Wales' comments at OSCON that Wikia would now take on Google and Yahoo.

You see, Google and Yahoo are search engines. Wikia is a search engine. Thus Wikia is taking on Google and Yahoo.

So far I have found just one News.Com note on the whole thing, a very simple, straightforward comment about how you can now crawl the Web yourself with Grub.

Should we take Wikia more seriously? Wales says search is broken, and "the people" can fix it.

Some say we should take it seriously, as a serious threat. George Gardner at Tech.Blorge says Grub will now become the property of scammers and spammers, making it harder for honest people to find what they are looking for.

The spectre of crooks may be the last refuge of open source critics, but in this case do they have a point? If the SEO "industry" uses Grub to get crap to the top of all our search requests, is Wales a serious threat to all of us?

I have found that, for non-controversial topics, Wikipedia can actually be a good reference. Most people are honest. But some people aren't, so "experts" are always warning us away from trusting Wikipedia on anything.

If the same holds true here, will the result be a net benefit or a black eye for open source?

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