Knol is the latest project undertaken by Google. Based on the lines of Wikipedia, Hubpages and Squidoo, it is being viewed as Google’s way of capitalising on Wikipedia’s original idea of a user-generated information hub and at the same time stopping its traffic from flowing into Wikipedia.
Google Knol will function take the form of a knowledge base where anyone and everyone can contribute informative articles on any topic. Authoring tools will be provided by Google. Other users will be able to comment, suggest edits and also add advertisements if the author approves. This would guarantee authors the opportuntiy to earn ad based revenues.
Knol will also give due recognition to its contributors that Wikipedia denies them. This combined with the lure of monetary benefits through the ads posted on individual pages might attract new authors and draw contributors away from Wikipedia.
However, the lack of an editorial policy on Knol might work against it, as we have already seen to be the case with Wikipedia where inaccurate, biased and promotional information is frequently posted by self-proclaimed pundits and unscrupulous corporations.
It is also quite strange to see Google promoting its own content. This could mean that Google will no more be on neutral grounds when it comes to showing search results; they will probably push their own content to the top of the list. A bias could potentially infiltrate its way into Google’s search results which will not be good news for other content publishers.
Even though the idea may sound far fetched right now, the possibility that one day “search and find” operations might just be restricted to Google pages only is not altogether impossible! At least thatâ€™s what Google seems to be aiming for – an absolute monopoly of the Internet!
The image below shows a screenshot of a “Knol”. Click on it to view the full article.