Google is entering the encyclopedia game with “knol,” which is short for “unit of knowledge.” Unlike Wikipedia, authors of each entry will be identified. Here is how Google explains its decision:
We believe that knowing who wrote what will significantly help users make better use of Web content.
In addition, readers can rate entries and comment on them. Fair enough. Knol, however, may still suffer from the accuracy problems that have plagued Wikipedia because Google won’t deploy editors to look over its content. Larry Sanger, editor-in-chief at the rival Citizendium, says that could lead to trouble:
Knol is apt to produce precisely the same sort of uneven content, with many of the same abuses, that Wikipedia has. Without actual editors, the same sort of problems about misleading and damaging information are apt to plague knol.
For more, check out:
- The full announcement from Google.
- This Q&A with Sanger.
- This analysis from Motley Fool.