Knol lacks knowledge

Google's would-be Wikipedia competitor doesn't have the goods to challenge the Free Encyclopedia. Yet.


Joe Hutsko
July 25, 2008 12:10AM (UTC)

Google has officially launched Knol, and a search on "Knol and Wikipedia" turns up a slew of stories about the fully formed instant rivalry the launch spawns between both sides of that "and."

With no clue what "knol" meant, I turned to Wikipedia, which, in its entry for Google's Knol, states: "The term knol, named after a 'unit of knowledge,' refers to both the project and an article in the project."

Advertisement:

Curious to see what Knol had to say about Wikipedia, I visited knol.google.com, searched on Wikipedia, and came up with nothing.

Ditto for searches on two genius inventors I'm fond of, "Edison" and "Alan Kay." I did have some success with a search for "XBox," which had no entry itself, but was referred to in an entry for video game Devil May Cry, authored by a fascinatingly bearded contributor who goes by the name of Chewy.

ZDNet blogger Garett Rogers ends his post ("Google Creates a New Market and Wreaks Havoc on Another"): "Unfortunately for Wikipedia, Google has the means to pay authors for their contributions. I wonder what’s stopping someone from ripping off all Wikipedia content and profiting from it?"

Perhaps, but unless you write Knol entries for "Britney Spears" or "Linux" and similarly big-hit Web wonders, it’s doubtful the pennies paid by AdSense will turn many contributors into millionaires.


Joe Hutsko

MORE FROM Joe Hutsko



Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •