Google infiltrates the knowledge sharing game  

Posted by NoeL in ,

Giving a perfect competitor to encyclopedia Wikipedia, Google opened its website Knol ( to the public on last Wednesday. Unlike Wikipedia, where those who write remain anonymous, Knol allows people to write with their bylines. "We are deeply convinced that authorship, knowing who wrote what, helps readers trust the content." said Cedric DuPont, product manager for Knol.

New York Times reports that Google's Knol - its term for a unit of knowledge - is a collection of user-generated articles on specific topics. Google said that the aim of the free service is to 'help people share their knowledge'. The company would not serve as an editor in any way or bless the content, instead, it would leave editorial responsibilities up to the author. But it will rank the entries according to its popularity to encourage competition.

It also plans to reward authors of popular posts by enabling them to profit from their entries, if they allow Google to place advertisements on their pages. The contributor can earn as per the number of page views the article gets.

Knol is considered as an attempt to boost the company's online advertising income by attracting some of the millions who use Wikipedia, which is non-profit and advertising-free.

Dupont denied Knol was designed as a 'Wikipedia killer', saying, "Google is very happy with Wikipedia being so successful. Anyone who tries to kill them would hurt us."

The highlighted knols on the site's front page were mainly related to health issues such as migraines or irritable bowel syndrome. Knol is widely perceived as a shift in Google's identity of 'organizing the world's information' to 'creating and publishing information' that could potentially compromise its neutrality in organizing search results.

Can/Will Google give a real competition to Wikipedia? We will have to wait and watch!!


This entry was posted on Monday, July 28, 2008 at Monday, July 28, 2008 and is filed under , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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I study at European Business School, Oestrich-Winkel. The opinions expressed here are my own, and neither European Business School, Oestrich-Winkel nor any other party necessarily agrees with them.