The long promised open source search engine, developed by the founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales, is out in alpha release with the name Wikia Search, in case you missed all the buzz. Most of the experts are disappointed at Wikia for its poor performance and search results.
I think that Jimmy Wales is misunderstood. With Wikia Search he is not competing with Google, he is trying to create a search engine, with pages written by customers not by programmers.
" Wikia Search will start to change search from being proprietary, top-down, and closed. Wikia's search engine concept is that of trusted user feedback from a community of users acting together in an open, transparent, public way".
Users can also link their profiles on Wikia to certain keywords and when searches are run, their profiles show up on the screen.
For now the search results are limited, and the success of this new venture, pretty much depends on the popularity of Wikia and level of participation by customers. For me it will be interesting to see where this experiment is going.