Google Knol

The Google blog revealed that they are currently beta testing a new Google service — Google Knol, which appears to be a direct competitor to Wikipedia, and the much-hyped Mahalo:

Earlier this week, we started inviting a selected group of people to try a new, free tool that we are calling “knol”, which stands for a unit of knowledge. Our goal is to encourage people who know a particular subject to write an authoritative article about it. The tool is still in development and this is just the first phase of testing. For now, using it is by invitation only. But we wanted to share with everyone the basic premises and goals behind this project.

Think of “knol” as a unit of knowledge: the more pages an author creates the more knol’s he is able to share. The plus side is Google Knol will highlight the author and I suspect there will be some sort of “trust rank” in place that will be dictated largely by the community and by the readers. As opposed to Wikipedia where focus on the authors of an article is next to nil, authors here put their reputations literally on the line, similar to what is doing. With “strong community tools” that will be available, users can also comment, question and rate a knol. Authors may earn substantially by placing Adsense ads on their pages.

Here’s a screenshot of what a knol may look like:


Thanks to Search Engine Land for the screenie

Do you think we need Google Knol with Wikipedia already around?


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