Google announced that it had begun testing an idea similar to Wikipedia around Christmas of 2007 and today, Knol has been rolled out to the masses.
In a lot of ways, Knol is actually a lot like Wikipedia. Content is submitted by normal, everyday people who consider themselves to be an expert on a particular topic. It can also be edited by normal, everyday people for whatever reason. There are, however a few differences.
Knol features authored content. That is, all of the articles are linked to a specific person. When Google announced the idea via it’s blog, Udi Manber, VP of Engineering said that the idea was to highlight those that produce the content. Google believes knowing who wrote what will significantly help users make better use of web content.
Google also tackles the editing of articles by incorporating what the team call “author collaboration”. Readers are free to make suggestions to the author or edits, which the author can choose to either approve or reject. The general idea being changes won’t be made to an article you submit without your knowledge.
Check out Knol and let us know what you think. We’ve already read a very educational piece about unclogging toilets and in theory know how to fix any blockage. Does anyone need a plumber?