• BURN MEDIA
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

Wikipedia boss Jimmy Wales to create Facebook competitor?

At a gathering of about 100 of some of South Africa’s top geeks on Tuesday night, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales revealed what he said were some of the “first screenshots” of his new project on search.

But a screenshot that Wales briefly showed us looked very much like a Facebook profile page, than a search page. In fact it looked pretty much identical to a Facebook profile page.

Could this mean Wales is developing a social networking, Facebook competitor too? Could it be some kind of search/social networking hybrid?

[UPDATE: Terrence Russell of Wired woke up Jimmy Wales in the early hours of the morning in Bangkok to respond to the speculation. More here.]

Described as “Google’s worst nightmare”, Wales said the main “failing” of search engines out there like Google was that they were secretive about the way they ranked search results. In stark contrast to the Open Source movement, these search engines kept information about their algorithms and code close to their chest.

“It’s not a healthy thing that power is in the hands of a couple of companies… the information needs to be out there in the public and people involved,” he told the gathering in Johannesburg.

His angle is to take on the Googles of this world by making his new search project a collaborative one much like that of Wikipedia.

It’s the third time Wales has been to South Africa this year to talk about his projects and work with local communities.

Wales’ new projects are being created by a new company, Wikia. The company has been the subject of quite a bit of hype and speculation in recent times. Wikia is a separate organisation to Wikipedia and aims to take the wiki concept to every other kind of work, book, or community projects that people might build. It also aims to extend the Wikipedia model beyond just nonprofit, educational and research communities.

The event that Wales’ spoke at in Johannesburg was part of the new iCommons “Innovation Series” at which I also had the privilege of speaking at just before Wales. The next Innovation Series will feature the COO of Second Life, Cory Ondrejka. Congratulations to Heather Ford and Kerryn Mckay from Creative Commons South Africa who pulled this awesome event off.

More pictures of the Jimmy Wales event on my Flickr account, here.

South African languages still small on Wikipedia
Wales said the biggest South African language, excluding English, was Afrikaans with only 8 000 entries. The other South African languages were small with a mere 107 entries in Zulu or 78 posts in Xhosa.

    Wikipedia facts & stats, 2007

  • Wales said that by the end of 2007 there were now more than 2-million Wikipedia articles in english now, but that this is less than 1/3 of the wikipedia content.
  • German and French are two big growing languages with more than 500,000 articles each.
  • Wikipedia spent around US$1-millon last year, and will spend about $2,3-million this year. Most of this comes from small donations and is a tiny amount of money if you think of the influence Wikipedia has on the world.
  • Wales says that according to Alexa, Wikipedia is now the 8th most popular website in the world.
  • Even in countries like Iran, Wikipedia is the 14th most popular site.
  • Despite Wikipedia being one of the world’s top ten biggest websites, it only has 10 fulltime positions, with most of the work done by volunteers all around the world.


Creative Commons License


This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 South Africa License.

Author | Matthew Buckland: Publisher

Matthew Buckland: Publisher
Matthew Buckland is a web guy who has over the years worked in a programming, editorial and business capacity within the online media environment. He now dedicates his life and soul to Creative Spark and Memeburn.com. He was previously General Manager of Publishing at news24.com, and then went... More

75 Comments

  1. Pingback: Wikipedia boss Jimmy Wales to create Facebook competitor? on Boss

  2. Paul Jacobson

    November 14, 2007 at 7:14 am

    Great post Matt.

  3. Paul Jacobson

    November 14, 2007 at 9:14 am

    Great post Matt.

  4. Pingback: [Events] iCommons Innovative Series kicks off with Jimmy Wales : Bizcommunity Blog

  5. Jamaaludeen Khan

    November 14, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    I wish I was there. Thanks for this post Matthew, it gives us some insight. I’m actually started a community project on Wikipedia. I’ll share some more on my blog shortly.

  6. Jamaaludeen Khan

    November 14, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    I wish I was there. Thanks for this post Matthew, it gives us some insight. I’m actually started a community project on Wikipedia. I’ll share some more on my blog shortly.

  7. Pingback: Is Wikipedia Planning a Facebook Competitor?  »TechAddress

  8. Pingback: CBS Offers Midtown Manhattan Free Wireless Internet Access  »TechAddress

  9. CaliKilla

    November 15, 2007 at 11:43 pm

    There’s technology in Africa?? WHAT?!? Please, the land of apartheid should give it up. Everyone knows technology only succeeds in the Valley.

  10. CaliKilla

    November 16, 2007 at 1:43 am

    There’s technology in Africa?? WHAT?!? Please, the land of apartheid should give it up. Everyone knows technology only succeeds in the Valley.

  11. Pingback: Wikipedia + Profiles = Socialpedia?

  12. Pingback: matthewbuckland.com » Mashable weighs in on latest Jimmy Wales comments

  13. Pingback: Screeshot of the Jimmy Wales “Socialpedia” : nicharalambous.com

  14. Pingback: TechSheep » Blog Archive » Wikipedia boss Jimmy Wales to create Facebook competitor? (Matt/matthewbuckland.com)

  15. David Gerard

    November 16, 2007 at 11:57 am

    o_0 That headline’s like Web 2.0 buzzword bingo. Yes. We’re also planning an operating system, a phone, a video site, and
    an office software package:

    * Includes “search for nuance”, “convert to euphemism” and “neutrality checker” functions

    * Comes with five interfaces, though a lot of odd little stuff only
    works in the main one

    * Spends a month each year with Wikipe-tan popping up in the corner and asking the user for donations

    Total world domination is all that’s left.

  16. David Gerard

    November 16, 2007 at 1:57 pm

    o_0 That headline’s like Web 2.0 buzzword bingo. Yes. We’re also planning an operating system, a phone, a video site, and
    an office software package:

    * Includes “search for nuance”, “convert to euphemism” and “neutrality checker” functions

    * Comes with five interfaces, though a lot of odd little stuff only
    works in the main one

    * Spends a month each year with Wikipe-tan popping up in the corner and asking the user for donations

    Total world domination is all that’s left.

  17. Pingback: » Blog Archive » Wikipedia + Community?

  18. Pingback: Got Bim? » Blog Archive » Wikipedia + Social Networking + Search = Way too much potential?

  19. Raul

    November 16, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    hello

  20. Raul

    November 16, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    hello

  21. Pingback: share.websitemagazine.com

  22. charl

    November 16, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    Your on the front of Mashable and Techmeme – your rock !!

  23. charl

    November 16, 2007 at 5:09 pm

    Your on the front of Mashable and Techmeme – your rock !!

  24. Pingback: Wikinomics » Blog Archive » Facebook clone, Wikipedia style

  25. Pingback: Get Ready For Wikia Search; First Screen Shots Shown In South Africa

  26. Pingback: iMac Blog » Blog Archive » Rumor: Wikipedia Founder Designing Google/Facebook-killer

  27. Pingback: Vincent Maher - Media in Transition » Matthew Buckland and Nic Haralambous hit the front page of the third biggest blog in the world

  28. Pingback: Facebook+Wikipedia=Wikia Search? - The Unofficial Facebook Blog

  29. Pingback: matthewbuckland.com » TechCrunch, Mashable and Techmeme link to my blog :-)

  30. Pingback: Wikipedia boss Jimmy Wales to create Facebook competitor?

  31. Pingback: Everyone wants to be Facebook - - mathewingram.com/work

  32. Pingback: Adam Crowe - links for 2007-11-17

  33. Pingback: VentureBeat » Roundup: Plans unclear for Wales project, Google’s wireless network, and more

  34. Pingback: a pinch of this, a sprinkle of that « erewhon

  35. Pingback: matthewbuckland.com » Jimmy Wales responds to Facebook/Search speculation…

  36. Pingback: » Could Wikia Be Working On A Facebook Killer? Social Marketing Journal

  37. Pingback: Bitelia » Primeras imágenes de Wikia

  38. Pingback: Revue de presse hebdomadaire du 12/11/07 » Révolution Web 2.0 en Live !

  39. Pingback: Προς SocialPedia Search? « Αλέξανδρος Μελίδης

  40. Pingback: CMS SEO : Wiki boss builds “Google’s nightmare”

  41. Pingback: Джимми Уэльс готовит «худший кошмар для Google»

  42. Pingback: Is Wikipedia getting into social networking? « The Whole Enchilada

  43. Pingback: Is Wikipedia getting into social networking?

  44. Pingback: Video of Jimmy Wales Showing Explaining The First Open Source Search Screenshots | Dave Duarte

  45. Pingback: matthewbuckland.com » Jimmy Wales ‘Facebook plans’: Now watch the video

  46. Pingback: Anonymous

  47. Pingback: Anonymous

  48. Pingback: matthewbuckland.com » The local web: The year that was 2007

  49. Pingback: Vincent Maher - Media in Transition » Some SA blogging memories, told by graphs

  50. Pingback: Le Blogueur » Blog Archive » Première capture d’écran du futur moteur de recherche Wikia

  51. Pingback: Afrikaans op WikiPedia « eKKe dINk

  52. Approach

    March 1, 2009 at 8:45 am

    Хм… что-то у меня ссылка не открывается, которую указали. Это у всех так, или только у меня?

  53. Approach

    March 1, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Хм… что-то у меня ссылка не открывается, которую указали. Это у всех так, или только у меня?

  54. James Makoetla

    June 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    I am looking for friends in South Africa, to discuss the
    opportunity of networking and doing business together, share
    the leads, and network and be in each others network.
    I really appreciate your time and look foward to connecting.
    Thanks,
    James
    http://www.fastpitchonline.com/jamesmakoetla/
    tsuibila@yahoo.com

  55. James Makoetla

    June 13, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    I am looking for friends in South Africa, to discuss the
    opportunity of networking and doing business together, share
    the leads, and network and be in each others network.
    I really appreciate your time and look foward to connecting.
    Thanks,
    James
    http://www.fastpitchonline.com/jamesmakoetla/
    tsuibila@yahoo.com

  56. James Makoetla

    July 29, 2009 at 12:58 am

    SPIRIT OF GIVINGTake advantage of my network services and
    netwoks affilition-memberships. I am looking for the clients from
    South Africa and every corner of the world to take advantage of
    my network services. Services avalable include Technology
    Consulting, Financial Services, Consulting, Entrepreneurship,
    Marketing, Promotional, Television Cable, Educational Training,
    Music, Website Services, and Website Marketing. Simply go to
    http://www.fastpitchonline.com/jamesmakoetla/ to get them.

    My invitation is hereby extended to the eager buyers to
    patronize my internet business. I am marketing software
    products. Go to http://www.jmglobalmktg.com locate SPIRIT OF
    GIVINGThe truth about giving is we don’t need a special day,
    holiday or time of year to be kind to others. . . read more. Click
    on read more and start shopping.

    Thanks for Stopping By,
    James Makoetla
    1800 North Oak Street, # 512
    Arlington, Va. 22209
    United States of America.
    703-243-0843

  57. James Makoetla

    July 29, 2009 at 2:58 am

    SPIRIT OF GIVINGTake advantage of my network services and
    netwoks affilition-memberships. I am looking for the clients from
    South Africa and every corner of the world to take advantage of
    my network services. Services avalable include Technology
    Consulting, Financial Services, Consulting, Entrepreneurship,
    Marketing, Promotional, Television Cable, Educational Training,
    Music, Website Services, and Website Marketing. Simply go to
    http://www.fastpitchonline.com/jamesmakoetla/ to get them.

    My invitation is hereby extended to the eager buyers to
    patronize my internet business. I am marketing software
    products. Go to http://www.jmglobalmktg.com locate SPIRIT OF
    GIVINGThe truth about giving is we don’t need a special day,
    holiday or time of year to be kind to others. . . read more. Click
    on read more and start shopping.

    Thanks for Stopping By,
    James Makoetla
    1800 North Oak Street, # 512
    Arlington, Va. 22209
    United States of America.
    703-243-0843

  58. James Makoetla

    August 3, 2009 at 1:02 am

    My invitation is extended to anyone in South Africa,
    who might be interested in networking with My AFFILIATE
    NETWORKS and sign up for the memberships in the United
    States of America. There are so many Business Associations,
    Chambers of Commerce and Non-Profit Associations that are
    looking for you. Go to http://www.jmglobalmktg.com . Locate
    ABOUT. Click on ABOUT. Scroll down, wait untill your computer
    finishes loading. You are almost there.
    thanks,
    James Makoetla
    1800 North Oak Street, # 512
    Arlington, Va. 22209
    United States of America
    703-243-0843

  59. James Makoetla

    August 3, 2009 at 3:02 am

    My invitation is extended to anyone in South Africa,
    who might be interested in networking with My AFFILIATE
    NETWORKS and sign up for the memberships in the United
    States of America. There are so many Business Associations,
    Chambers of Commerce and Non-Profit Associations that are
    looking for you. Go to http://www.jmglobalmktg.com . Locate
    ABOUT. Click on ABOUT. Scroll down, wait untill your computer
    finishes loading. You are almost there.
    thanks,
    James Makoetla
    1800 North Oak Street, # 512
    Arlington, Va. 22209
    United States of America
    703-243-0843

  60. Ogorodnik

    September 7, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Великолепный подбор информации, только почаще освежайте ее и уверен прибавится много постоянных посетителей.

  61. Ogorodnik

    September 7, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    Великолепный подбор информации, только почаще освежайте ее и уверен прибавится много постоянных посетителей.

  62. Multyashka

    September 8, 2009 at 6:56 am

    Блог понравился, только побольше бы информации и наполнения надо. Тогда все полностью будет на высоте.

  63. Multyashka

    September 8, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Блог понравился, только побольше бы информации и наполнения надо. Тогда все полностью будет на высоте.

  64. Mobilecl

    September 19, 2009 at 3:44 am

    Чётко, кратко и интересно. Наверное правильно говорят, что краткость сестра таланта

  65. Mobilecl

    September 19, 2009 at 5:44 am

    Чётко, кратко и интересно. Наверное правильно говорят, что краткость сестра таланта

  66. zikcom

    September 19, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Помоему очень интересная статья, я прочитал с большим удовольствием. Благодарю

  67. zikcom

    September 19, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Помоему очень интересная статья, я прочитал с большим удовольствием. Благодарю

  68. Nicetravel

    September 19, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Для более подробного и внимательного изучения добавил в избранное. Буду изучать

  69. Nicetravel

    September 19, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Для более подробного и внимательного изучения добавил в избранное. Буду изучать

  70. Seniorenhandy

    September 24, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    Интесресно и черезчур познавательно. Благодарю.

  71. Seniorenhandy

    September 24, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Интесресно и черезчур познавательно. Благодарю.

  72. Baiduru

    September 25, 2009 at 4:25 am

    Не увидел нотки благодарности за этот материал в комментариях. Скажу тогда сам:
    автору огромная благодарность

  73. Baiduru

    September 25, 2009 at 6:25 am

    Не увидел нотки благодарности за этот материал в комментариях. Скажу тогда сам:
    автору огромная благодарность

  74. Pingback: Could Wikia Be Working On A Facebook Killer?

  75. Pingback: Is Wikipedia Planning a Facebook Competitor? | CenterNetworks

More in Social, Social networking

Social Networking is Online Publishing 2.0

Read More »