Google Launches the knol project
Google have threatened to to take on Wikipedia at their own game for some time, in fact I mentioned it in a blog article back in January 2007, when Wikipedia announced their intentions to launch Wikia Search, but they have now officially entered the fray by launching the beta version of “The knol project”.
Google have used the term knol for the project and I suspect the web pages will become known a “knols”, a name which I would imagine is a shortened version of the word, “knowledge”.
Although information is sparse, unless you are an invited beta tester, at first glance, the knol project appears to be not a lot more than a blog. Apparently, users will not be able to alter the articles, unless you are known to the author, but will be able to make comments, or write competing articles.
Google has announced that it will not get involved in editing the knol pages, which begs the question, who is going to remove all of the unmitigated spam that will surely appear? Who will be responsible for editing the knol comments, as they will surely also be a haven for spammy comments? I ask the questions;not to be negative, but because they seem like obvious issues to me.
I like the general idea of a Wiki Competitor. If anyone can do it successfully, it will be Google, but I’m not yet convinced that the blog-style knols are the answer, or that they will be a true competitor to Wikipedia. I’m also not convinced that this isn’t a tit-for-tat move by Google, after Wikipedia have announced that they will be be launching their own search engine soon. Nonetheless, I’m interested to find out more about the knol project, so if you are a beta tester, any info would be appreciated.