Google is developing an online publishing platform where people can write entries on subjects they know, an idea that’s close to Wikipedia’s user-contributed encyclopedia but with key differences.
The project, which is in an invitation-only beta stage, lets users create clean-looking Web pages with their photo and write entries on, for example, insomnia. Those entries are called ‘knols’ for ‘unit of knowledge,’ Google said.
Google wants the knols to develop into a deep repository of knowledge, covering topics such as geography, history and entertainment.
Google’s project will have to catch up with Wikipedia, which includes more than 7 million articles in 200 languages. Anonymous users constantly update Wikipedia entries in an ever-growing online encyclopedia that’s edited by a network of vetted editors.
But Google asserts that the Web’s development so far has neglected the importance of the bylined author.
‘We believe that knowing who wrote what will significantly help users make better use of web content,’ wrote Udi Manber, vice president of engineering, on the official Google blog."
Totally interesting -- and quite distinct -- model. If anyone has a beta invite to this program in their pocket, I would love to get one.