Google Knol v/s Wkipedia

Friday, July 25, 20080 comments

Google has launched its own version of communally constructed online encyclopedia Wikipedia, which consistently ranks among the most visited websites in the world. The Internet search powerhouse went live late Wednesday with a free service dubbed "Knol," to indicate a unit of knowledge.

Unlike Wikipedia, people who write entries on Google's encyclopedia are identified and could even earn a profit from their articles with ads. The more times the article is viewed, the more an author can get paid.

"The key principle behind Knol is authorship. Every knol will have an author (or group of authors) who put their name behind their content," the company wrote on its blog Wednesday. "It's their knol, their voice, their opinion. We expect that there will be multiple knols on the same subject, and we think that is good."

Google Knol readers rank the usefulness of entries, adding comments and asking questions. Google will not edit the pieces.

But can Knol unseat current online leader Wikipedia?

Wikipedia was founded in January 2001. It has more than 8.2 million articles in more than 200 languages, including more than 2 million in English.

Unlike Google Knol, Wikipedia is not ad-supported, but instead supported by the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation. With a stated mission of supporting the free dissemination of information, the foundation is funded mostly by private donations and some grants

Google's main challenge in competing with Wikipedia will be people's current Web habits.

Knol's respect for authorship will be a huge boon for Google to differentiate it from competitors such as Wikipedia and Squidoo, Saffo said.

Wikipedia allows group contribution, but it doesn't allow ranking. ... Google is applying ranking to that.
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