Thursday, July 24, 2008

Google Wikipedia rival Knol is live

Google's Wikipedia competitor, Knol, was opened to the public on Wednesday morning.

So-called knols are articles about specific topics written by experts on that subject.

Google is partnering with The New Yorker magazine to allow any author to add a cartoon from the magazine to their knol. Knol authors can run ads with them, as well, and receive a cut of the revenue from Google.

What makes Knol different from Wikipedia is that every knol will have an author, or group of authors, whose name is prominent.

Google wants to rank entries by popularity to encourage competition. For example, the first knol on "Type 1 Diabetes" is by Anne Peters, director of the University of Southern California's Clinical Diabetes Programs.

As other writers publish on diabetes, Google plans to rank related pages according to user ratings, reviews and how often people refer to specific pages, DuPont said.

Knol focuses on individual authors or groups of authors in contrast to Wikipedia's subject entries, which are updated by users and edited behind the scenes.