With the release of its Wikipedia-killing user-generated infocenter site Knol
, Google hopes to at long last officially own the entire Internet, rather than merely by unspoken agreement as it stands today.
Knol, named after a “unit of knowledge,” and NOT a bastardization of the hyena men from Dungeons and Dragons as I’d originally assumed, is looking to be pretty fantastic, and Google is sparing no hyperbole in the lead-up to its launch:
There are millions of people who possess useful knowledge that they would love to share, and there are billions of people who can benefit from it. We believe that many do not share that knowledge today simply because it is not easy enough to do that.
Yes, clearly it’s far too difficult for the average person to share their knowledge on the Internet. That totally explains
this Wikipedia entry
. And this one
. And THIS one
. And these comments
But inane PR posturing aside, Knol does have some key differences from Wiki that might make it worth your while, or doom it to crash and burn. For example, they're going to incorporate Google AdWords and allow authors to get paid for their Knol pages based on how many hits they get.
On one hand, this could mean a lot of incentive for knowledgeable people to post valuable information. On the other, far more likely hand, this will mean that the phrase “Nude Pics of Scarlett Johansson” will have 1,300 entries, all promising you the absolute