Google, the internet giant that was originally a humble, but powerful search engine has now manifested into one of the most important corporations into the world. In its goal of encouraging spread of knowledge, Google now has an e-mail service, an online office suite, a social networking site, two of the world’s largest video sharing sites, the largest blog hosting site, and so on.
Now Google is turning to the knowledge-sharing section of Web 2.0 with its under-development service titled “Knol” (supposedly a “unit of knowledge”). This appears to be a weird cross of Facebook, Wikipedia and Instructables, and I can already foresee it going big.
Unlike Wikipedia, though – Knol will emphasize on authors, as opposed to topics. Everyone will have a cute profile, and will be rated by the community depending on how good their articles are. The goal of the project is, as you might have guessed, to encourage people to open up about a topic they know a lot about. While good in theory, this may not exactly be the best thing out there.
YouTube sounds good in theory – a video sharing site. Browse through now and you’ll see some of the worst and most banal videos the internet has ever known. Since Google has stated that they will in no way directly serve as moderator or editor to Knol, there’s perfect chance that Knol will be ruined by the millions of teenagers who think they know a lot about something.
The site will host anything from outlines of a topic to in-depth articles to how-tos and just about anything that educates the reader. Google also hints that authors will also be able to use Google AdSense to generate money from sharing knowledge. This reminds me that Knol may just end up to be a pseudo-blog site with people posting on how to manage girlfriends, instead of a long, emo poem on how their girlfriend dumped them. Best community website ever? I don’t think so.
Then again, since there is so much of an emphasis on authors, there’s perfect chance that a lot of real talent can be highlighted here. If you ignore the unwashed masses, you might just find a few geniuses worth listening to (try YouTube as a comparison).
What do you think of all this? Is Google really doing good with this, or are they just money-hungry executives masquerading as internet geeks, monolopolizing the Internet? Love Google’s idea? Think it should be different? Post it all into the comments!