Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on December 17th, 2007

Knol vs. Wikipedia

Google announced via it's blog that it was launching a new...service? website? blog?...well, let's just call it a knowledge aggregator for now. It's called Knol, which is short for "unit of knowledge". The idea is that anybody who knows something could write an article about it and submit it to knol. Then, other people who also know about that topic could edit that article and add their own knowledge.

Sound familiar? Anyone who uses Google often knows that you'll see Wikipedia as one of the first 3 or 5 results on most popular searches. Often, it's #1. Well, it just doesn't fly to have any one entity hogging up all your search results so Google plans to have a Knol show at the top of the results:

"A knol on a particular topic is meant to be the first thing someone who searches for this topic for the first time will want to read."

It sounds like Google, who started out as a cataloger of other people's information, is quickly becoming a producer of content themselves...albeit user-generated content. YouTube, Picasa, and now Knol. So, how to get ahead of this new trend? Create great content. Google has given one great example of a Knol. Go write one for your favorite topic and, as soon as it launches, you'll be ready.