Google has announced its new knowledge platform, called Knol. “Earlier this week, we started inviting a selected group of people to try a new, free tool that we are calling “knol”, which stands for a unit of knowledge. Our goal is to encourage people who know a particular subject to write an authoritative article about it.”
The difference between Knol and Wikipedia is that each article or “knol” will be authored by a single person (others can comment and review), as opposed to the collaborative production model for Wikipedia articles. Nick Carr writes about the possible allure of this approach:”The success of Knol is, of course, far from assured, but the ability of authors to sign their names, take ownership of their work, and compete with other authors may well be a lure for many people. And, of course, Google is pitching the advertising angle: “At the discretion of the author, a knol may include ads. If an author chooses to include ads, Google will provide the author with substantial revenue share from the proceeds of those ads.” In contrast to Wikipedia’s pure “social production” model, contributors may be able to make a few bucks by writing knols - while also contributing a fresh revenue stream to Google.”
The project is in closed beta right now, but if you’re passionate and knowledgeable about a topic, start working on the content for your Knol now. Why? Here are three reasons:
- You’ll be ready when it open to the public (or invites more people into the closed beta).
- You’ll have “first mover’s advantage” and can establish an early voice on a topic you know well.
- You’ll be ahead of the pack - while others are starting their articles, you’ll be refining yours and further establishing your expertise on your topic(s).
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