Google has started inviting a few people to try Google Knol – a new, free tool that people who know a particular subject can write an authoritative article about. Wikipedia has a strong challenger rising to test their business model…
Google Knol: A unit of knowledge
Knol stands for a unit of knowledge. Google introduces Knol and says the tool is still in development and in the first phase of testing, therefore entry is by invitation only. The goal is for knols to cover all topics and all editorial control will rest with the authors.
Knol will have a strong social interaction – people can submit comments, ask questions, perform edits, add additional content, rate a knol and write a review of it. Knol will allow the author to include advertisements and provide a revenue share from the proceeds of those ads. Now that should motivate authors to write more knols.
Knol will mainly compete with Wikipedia, the multilingual online free encyclopedia project that anyone can edit. This would also effect Mahalo, where experts create organized, comprehensive, and spam free search results for the most popular search terms. Also affected would be Squidoo, where experts create ‘lenses’ on subjects they know about and get revenue share too. A lot of Google Answers experts might be looking for a knol to write about…
Update: Google Knol is now shut down.
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