Google unleashed Knol today, which is essentially aiming to be collection of authoritative articles written with attribution. Knowledge is certainly everywhere these days, but I believe Google is trying to add wisdom to the equation – doing it somewhat differently than the competition.
Just about anybody and everybody is welcome to contribute, and even if you don’t contribute to Knol – they’ve got great guidelines for just about any writer, or just about any information network (kinda like what I’d love Lockergnome to be someday). Here’s their Best Practices – worth scanning. What’s most interesting in this knol on writing Knols is that they clearly state that an article should not be written like a blog.
They say that “Sharing your knowledge with the world is rewarding for everyone,” but it remains to be seen whether this is going to be anything more than a potential resume booster for contributors. Credentials are important, but as I’ve come to discover over time… credentials are not built in a centralized fashion anymore. You have to spread your intelligence wisely, in more than one location, to be discovered and sought after as someone who knows what they’re talking about. It’s not necessarily about WHO you know, but WHERE you participate throughout the Internet.
I think it’s awesome to have yet another resource for research on a topic; Wikipedia, Mahalo, and Knol should be quite complementary. I’d never look to one over another as THE authoritative resource for anything or everything. Perspectives matter, but you need to seek several before that knowledge can grow into true wisdom.
Some of my friends seem disappointed but seemingly hopeful. Maybe we were expecting more from Google?