December 14, 2007 10:52 AM PST

Google develops Wikipedia rival

Search and advertising giant Google is developing a user-generated online encyclopedia that could rival Wikipedia.

Google has named the encyclopedia the "knol project," a knol being a "unit of knowledge," according to a blog post by Google engineering vice president Udi Manber. The company aims to tie strong identities to contributing authors and those seeking to edit knols.

"Our goal is to encourage people who know a particular subject to write an authoritative article about it," wrote Manber. "The goal is for knols to cover all topics, from scientific concepts to medical information, from geographical and historical to entertainment, from product information to how-to-fix-it instructions."

Google will host and provide tools to produce and edit knol Web pages, but will not edit or advocate any of the content. However, entries that Google judges to be of higher quality will be given a higher page ranking in Google search.

Entries will be rated by the community and will be able to be reviewed after the unspecified testing period. The project is in beta and has been sent to a small group of testers. Once the knol tool goes live, contributors will be able to monetize their pages by including Google ads.

Tom Espiner of ZDNet UK reported from London.

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12 comments

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Google try to dominate everything
Frankly I dont think people will use it. Google runs the risk of alienating the very people that have come to use and love the service. Microsoft tried this and it failed. Global domination for losers. Social media networks will destroy any companies attempt to dominate. Google should leave Wikipedia alone and focus on there own ocre strengths i.e Search.
Posted by M Kenny (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
agree
everyone wants to get their hand in the cookie jar though. i personally wont use just because its already on wikipedia. by the time knol is up to par with wikipedia, i would have already forgotten that google was doing this. not to mention that 80% of the first entries will be a copy/paste
Posted by initialwhat (3 comments )
Link Flag
Google is Evil.
To least MS wrote their own code. Google uses GNU/Linux, mySQL and Apache etc. But give NOTHING back to the community. The google video player was just VLC repackaged. Look at Android. They take the Linux kernel, fail to use the proper JRE etc. Then they take all this stuff, none of which they created and release a SDK but not under GPL.
Take Google Video, who creates the content - the users. Who creates the content on Orkut - not Google. They have NO RESPECT FOR PRIVACY. They use our search queries and logs to develop new slgorithms. Google News just steals the contant of News Agencies and Newspapers. GMail rummages through our private messages just to serve context based ads.
OK so they give £30M a year to Mozilla. But so what.
This Wikipedia clone will never match Wikipedia. And its inferior content with be plastered with ads.
I really hope that 767 crashes with Brin, Page and Schmidt onboard.
They are just laughing at their advertisers for making them so rich. And laughing at their Users even more.
Those who wished for something other than MS are now getting their wish. At least Bill Gates actually is trying to make the World a slighter better place through his Foundation. Brin, Page and Schmidt are just Vermin.
So support Wikipedia and the new Wiki Search. Or just change your search default to Yahoo, MSN or Ask. Google is a Monopoly and behave as if they are about the Law. Just check todays CNET story about the Doubleclick merger.
I won't forget that back in 2005 Schmidt banned News.com Journalists from talking to Google just because News.com revealed some info about him that was readily available via a google search query. Motherf**ker.
I'm expecting loads of abuse from Google fanboys. People show Google too much love. But they have been Brainwashed.
Anyway Yahoo Search is actually very good.
Posted by Jamie_Foster (77 comments )
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So much hatred against Google ?
I am a Googler. I have been here for over 3 years and I know mighty well how the company works. I have worked for other companies but you believe it or not, Google is a very nice company. Do not be evil is the company motto and we just dont talk the talk, we walk the talk. Larry and Sergey are genuinely good people, who are kind and down to earth. Wishing them bad (that their 767 crash ? :) just because they are rich and successful is jealousy speaking :) Try to make something of yourself, rather than wish ill for others.
Posted by alexcherryatcnet (1 comment )
Link Flag
It's not a new concept, GZYN has a similar model
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.gzyn.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.gzyn.com</a> has a similar offering to its writers. Authors can write articles on any topic and earn advertising revenue. Authors keep 90% of the revenue earned by their articles.

Providing a pagerank benefit seems unfair though.
Posted by GZYN (1 comment )
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And people say things about Microsoft.....
....shame.

It's too bad people don't realize that Google is slowly taking over the internet, piece by piece. But they won't win against Wikipedia just like Yahoo and Microsoft and Ask.com won't win against Google in search engines. And just like Apple won't win against Microsoft in the operating system category. It's not their thing.
Posted by Spartan_458 (254 comments )
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Knols Project is like the QuarterWiki
Knol Project seems like the <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://QuarterWiki.com" target="_newWindow">http://QuarterWiki.com</a>
It's just free but the concept is the same in that there's one author and users can make revenue from Google AdSense ads.
Posted by johnnyfive555 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Wikepedia for ever!!!
I love Wikipedia! Gpedia will never be as good as Wikipedia
Posted by derekart (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
yo so right
Now u are kind of making ur self right. i heard after the news but never payattention to it. the other problem im having w/ u is i have been using google for a long time and never find anything wrong w/ them, but that yahoo and the MSN u listed weren't a good idea, in my opinion i think they all the same, eventhe yahoo and the MSN can't standthe heat of google. so never crocifled them. thank u.
Posted by kwad123 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Death to Wikipedia!!
Wikipedia should be destroyed because it is inaccurate and promotes biased viewpoints. Moderators are known to abuse their control by suppressing truths that they don't want to acknowledge.

If Google can create an alternative by creating accurate information representing expert knowledge, that would be far superior to Wikipedia's low quality drivel.
Posted by Truth Speaker (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Death to Wikipedia
At first we thought Wikipedia was a great place to develop and grow knowledge but our experience has been very similar to several others. Anonymous posters set about deleting our contributions for political purposes. In our case we had been conducting planetary science research by analyzing meteorites in the lab and using lab data to broaden knowledge about the Moon for instance. Our chief competition funded by NASA set about deleting all of our findings, discoveries, and links. This was significant because these are new verifiable discoveries. (The Chinese have been exploiting our new information and discoveries for their recent launch to the Moon.) We tried to inform and alert WIKI-moderators about the censorship but that was like trying to speak to a lifeless corpse. The same thing happened with DMOZ. Someone went in and re-wrote our website mini-bio and changed the nature of our biography. Again DMOZ was unresponsive to our complaints. These hacks, generally academics at certain Universities are not held accountable for their actions. When we caught one already discredited scientist, from Washington University St. Louis, behind the WIKI defacing we complained to his administration and finally the greedy, racist, fraud, (GRF) repeatedly apologized for his acts of repeated censorship and said "it was a complete mistake on his part". We have the email if anyone wants it.

Cordially,
S. Ray DeRusse
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.bccmeteorites.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.bccmeteorites.com</a>
Posted by BCCM (23 comments )
Link Flag
Google faling on its own deathtrap
I agree that Wiki's open solicitation for authoring is a bit risky - because there are already thousands of complaints about inaccurate and misleading information on it. So there seems to be a need of something slightly better.

Google's Knol is the answer? Since the experts will be providing the content, it may be more authentic. But there won't be as wide variety of contents for sure. Wiki is truly anarchicaclly broad in its content and extent.

Both will thrive, because there are enough difference for the competition to kill each-other.

But I really will HATE if Google starts putting context-based ads left and right. Then there is no neutrality in the info, whoever wrote it. But they will do that. Google has been exceedingly greedy now. People loved it before to stand something against Microsoft. But that may not be anymore.
Posted by ravithap (1 comment )
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