Saturday, December 15, 2007

Google Vs. Wikipedia

Who will win?

Google has announced "Knol", their new free tool similar to Wikipedia. Writing an article at this time is accomplished by invitation only, so don't get too excited - you have to wait.

For anyone who posts on Wikipedia, you might agree that the editing tools can sometimes be frustrating as well as having your content taken off by another authority on the subject.

Knol (which stands for unit of knowledge) will include community tools where people will be able to weigh in on subjects. Google wrote on their blog:

"All editorial responsibilities and control will rest with the authors. We hope that knols will include the opinions and points of view of the authors who will put their reputation on the line. Anyone will be free to write. For many topics, there will likely be competing knols on the same subject. Competition of ideas is a good thing."

The author of the knol will decide whether or not to include ads and Google will then provide a substantial revenue share with the author.

Here's a screenshot of a knol (if you click on it, you can be taken to the full page screenshot):

If it takes off I believe the people who write on Wikipedia for a good cause (to impart knowledge to others) and are passionate about it will stay writing there and the ones that use it for the same reasons will continue to go there for information.

On the other hand, other authors may prefer to use knol so their name will be published. Having their byline/website featured in the knol would increase website traffic substantially. In addition, with the revenue share in place from ads, the financial windfall could be considerable.

People are going blog wild on the subject right now as it races through the net. The opinions and discussions are heating up.

I for one, have decided to wait and see. When the testing phase is finished and I can really sink my teeth into it I'll weigh in on how I feel. (As if you care...)



Anonymous said...

Thinking that Knol is comparative to Wikipedia is a complete misunderstanding of the core premise behind Wikipedia. Wikipedia is about collaborative authorship. Knol is not. Knol is about singular experts - more comparative to Knol is based on building a network of trusted sources. Wikipedia is about editing the page yourself if you find untrustworthy data and either correcting it or marking it as untrustworthy. Knol != Wikipedia by a long shot. Completely different tool / system.

Complete Business Systems said...

Thanks for weighing in with your opinion - we appreciate it!