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Have You Seen Google Knol?

August 5th, 2008 · No Comments · Websites

Have you seen Google Knol? ABC News calls it the “Silicon Valley behemoth’s answer to Wikipedia.” They are both user-generated encyclopedias but Google Knol identifies authors and those authors could earn a profit from their articles (with the profit growing as the article receives more hits). I did a quick comparison of both sites using the search term “Madonna.” There were three results in Google Knol (all about the singer Madonna). I clicked on one author’s name and was presented with “Biographical knol not published” (I found this with quite a few other searches I did).

Wikipedia came back with many different results, including:

  • Mary, mother of Jesus
  • Madonna, entertainer
  • Madonna del Ghisallo, a hill close to Lake Como in Italy
  • Madonna lily, a plant
  • Madonna University, a college in Michigan
  • .

    While neither site is perfect (and I would not necessarily rely on either of them for authoritative information), I find Wikipedia to be a great starting point for research. It allows me to learn the language of the subject I am researching and it can often open up new paths to follow. Google Knol is new but it is a site I will continue to watch.