Google has announced that it has begun testing a new tool called ‘Knol’ that allows users to write authoritative online articles. You can view a screenshot of the tool here. Credibility and authority have long been a stumbling block preventing the adoption of Wikipedia in education or as a credible source for citations etc.
Knol will still allow anyone to add entries, just like Wikipedia, but it’ll allow people to have bylines and author profiles so you know precisely who has penned and reviewed the entry. Which would you trust more an entry by a hobbyist or a published Professor in the relevant subject matter.
I haven’t made up my mind as to whether I like this initiative or not the cynic in me feels that Google, which is funded through revenue generated from adverts, has entered into this arena because so much traffic is directed to Wikipedia which is Ad-free.
Interesting times ahead …