Google Knols best?

Google is increasingly looking like a company that wants to own the whole web

Tags: Google IncorporatedGoogle Knol
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By  Mark Sutton Published  December 16, 2007

Google is increasingly looking like a company that wants to own the whole web. Its latest launch, Google Knols, would appear to be a direct assault on wikipedia.

Knols (which stands for 'unit of knowledge') will take a different tack to wikipedia's collaborative approach. Instead of anonymous contributors being able to review each other's contributions to create a single 'definitive' posting on a subject, knols will be written just by a single, identified author, who will be able to profit from the submission by choosing to include ads on their post.

This approach seems to be missing the point. Certainly its not a good idea to rely on just wikipedia alone, but it often gives a good overview of a topic and suggests further reading. Wiki's come-one, come-all approach can result in inaccurate information, but most posts seem to reach a certain balance and consensus over time. The popularity of wikipedia can be seen by its strong ranking in Google searches.

Google's Knols however, seem like a recipe for profit driven, subjective contributions. Search for something at the moment and you are likely to find a single wikipedia entry that covers all the bases. The same search after Google Knols arrive will turn up dozens of articles written by a single person, aiming for eyeballs to drive their slice of the ad revenue.

Wikipedia works - why change?

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