As you’ve probably heard, Google Knol launched publicly today. It’s considered a more or less direct competitor to Wikipedia, as it permits anybody to author an article on pretty much anything. It doesn’t have the same degree of ‘wiki’ collaboration as Wikipedia, though–it’s more about individual experts. From the Google blog:
The key principle behind Knol is authorship. Every knol will have an author (or group of authors) who put their name behind their content. It’s their knol, their voice, their opinion. We expect that there will be multiple knols on the same subject, and we think that is good.
With Knol, we are introducing a new method for authors to work together that we call “moderated collaboration.” With this feature, any reader can make suggested edits to a knol which the author may then choose to accept, reject, or modify before these contributions become visible to the public. This allows authors to accept suggestions from everyone in the world while remaining in control of their content. After all, their name is associated with it!
What’s the marketing angle? In the coming days, I anticipate a great land grab as people author ‘knols’ on topics that matter to them. They’re going to permit multiple knols, but I anticipate something of a first-mover advantage. If Google Knol takes off (and odds are that it will), then it’s probably a good idea to write a knol on a topic in which you’re an expert. Knols may not be direct traffic drivers, but they may help cement your expertise in the space.
Julie and I put together a knol on social media marketing. It needs work, but I think it’s a satisfactory start. If you have the time, please consider rating, reviewing, editing or commenting on it.
And now I must try to resurrect my blog on Google Knol.