There have been several news reports stating that Wikia, Inc. was the commercial counterpart of Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Foundation, or that Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Foundation were going to develop search engines.
Neither is true.
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that operates wikis with an educational and informational goal, the best known of which is Wikipedia, the free, online encyclopedia. Wikia, Inc. is a for-profit corporation that also operates wikis on a variety of topics. The two entities, however, are distinct and separate with no managerial links. The only relationship between the two is that Jimmy Wales, is the founder of the Wikimedia Foundation, and is also one of the founders of Wikia, Inc.
The Wikimedia Foundation is funded by donations and grants, and does not run commercial operations. Like many companies and individuals, Wikia does support the Wikimedia Foundation through donations - however, there are no formal ties between the two organizations.
Florence Devouard is the Chair of the board of the Wikimedia Foundation, and Jimmy Wales remains on the board with the honorary title of Chair Emeritus.
- The Wikimedia Foundation, the parent organization that runs Wikipedia, is a nonprofit that runs entirely on private donations and grants. It does not run commercial operations.
- Wikimedia is not developing a search engine and does not plan to.
- Wikia is not the commercial counterpart to Wikipedia.