Photo: Flickr user lifeontheedge

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Test-driving Knol

"Crowd-sourcing" is really, really difficult, and Google has a spotted history with social software.

I took Knol for a test drive to see if it stands a chance of competing with Wikipedia.

Here's the video, if you can't see the embed.

Knol is different from Wikipedia in a lot of ways:

  • The creator of a page can "own" it, approving and rejecting other people's edits

  • There can be more than one page about a topic

  • There are no hard-and-fast rules, just a rating-driven filtering system

  • You can verify your identity (and not just by credit card!)

  • Google has money to burn, so the interface doesn't look like it was designed by an engineering student circa 1974. (It looks like it was designed by an engineering professor who drives a Volvo.)

I was skeptical when Google announced the project last year, but this is pretty impressive (even though it's not all that useful yet).

The biggest flaw is the front page, which is disorganized, lacks a human touch (despite being composed of manually-tagged items) and doesn't convey any sort of comprehensive sweep. Almost all of the spotlighted articles are about depressing medical conditions, which is a big mistake -- it makes it look like knol is a less-organized version of webMD or something.

If Google manages to cultivate a sense of community, Knol actually stands a chance of becoming a small but significant competitor -- which is good, because Wikipedia needs an external kick in the pants to cut through the introspection.


Prem Sabarwal (Gadget Help) said...

nice post..great info...

android web application development said...

Yes, nice article and thanks for sharing this information. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry, but I want to say something not related with Knol, but it is related with Wikipedia. The spanish Wikipedia has a big problem. If you can read in spanish there is a blog about this problem in this language:


sunny leone said...

who is 0wner of wikipedia?

Anonymous said...

In November 2011 Google announced that Knol would be phased out. The content may be exported by owners to WordPress-based Annotum. Knol will be closed on April 30, 2012, and all content will be deleted by October 1, 2012. Between these dates the content will not be viewable, but will be downloadable and exportable.

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Güzel bir yazı olmuş.

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