Google unveils its answer to Wikipedia

KnolGoogle launched its online encyclopedia to the world on Wednesday, after almost 7 months in closed beta testing.

The project, called Knol, will feature user-written articles on topics ranging from “scientific concepts, to medical information, from geographical and historical, to entertainment, from product information, to how-to-fix-it instructions” says Google.

Knol is undoubtedly similar to Wikipedia, but has one important difference. Each article on Knol will be attributed to an author or group of authors, allowing readers to see who wrote the piece. Other people will be able to edit articles through a process called ‘moderated collaboration’ in which the author will need to approve any changes to the piece.

Wikipedia’s approach to anonymity is often a point of contention, as anyone is able to change a Wikipedia article without having to leave their name.

Google product manager Cedric Dupont and software engineer Michael McNally said, “The key principle behind Knol is authorship. Every knol will have an author, or group of authors, who put their name behind their content. It’s their knol, their voice, their opinion.”

Knol can be found at: