Google has just made a new addition to its bouquet of internet properties. Its answer to Wikipedia,
Knol, is now in open beta
. Unlike Wikipedia where every author has no choice but to be self-effacing, Knol keeps the author in the foreground and well in control of his/her work. It will solely depend on an author whether he wants his Knols to be accompanied by ads – of which he will be a beneficiary – and if he wants to heed a call for modifications or edits to his article.
Knol also allows authors to collaborate on a certain article if they so desire. The media hasn’t really received Google’s announcement of Knol all that well as it fears that Google’s search engine results will be biased towards Knol.
Funnily and ironically enough, it seems to be more of Google’s own version of the quintessential information-centric website or online content hub - that promise authors a share in adsense revenues - and less of a Wikipedia rival.