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Google vs Wikipedia? No!

Google just launched its online encyclopaedia project, the so-called Knol. The whole blogosphere is talking about whether it can be a competitor to Wikipedia. Well, let’s put it that way: no, it can’t. An excerpt from their mission statement:

The Knol project is a site that hosts many knols — units of knowledge — written about various subjects. The authors of the knols can take credit for their writing, provide credentials, and elicit peer reviews and comments.

What if someone else has already written an article on that subject?

No problem, you can still write your own article. In fact, the Knol project is a forum for encouraging individual voices and perspectives on topics. As mentioned, no one else can edit your knol (unless you permit it) or mandate how you write about a topic. If you do a search on a topic, you may very well see more than one knol in the search results.

So I will have to find out which Knol is better. In Wikipedia, we merge different “Knols” into one article. So the readers can only see the best version. Doesn’t it sound better?

I believe in the wisdom of crowds (maybe because I’ve been a Wikipedia administrator for years now). You can pay people to create you a database of information; you can let people fight who can come up with the better article. But it can never be as accurate as Wikipedia is.

Some interesting posts covering the same topic:

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10 Comments Post a comment
  1. For now, using Knol is by invitation only. … A knol on a particular topic is meant to be the first thing someone who searches for this topic for the first time will want to read. The goal is for knols to cover all topics, from scientific concepts, to medical information, from geographical and historical etc.

    July 25, 2008
  2. As a side note: did you have a look at the new search engine: searchme.com ?

    It is a really cool initiative ;)

    July 25, 2008
  3. check out PubSearch for a better way of searching PubMed

    July 26, 2008
  4. hmmm… interesting perspective. There are times, however, when there’s more than one way to slice bread; and a Knol might be more appropriate than Wikipedia (like for a cake recipe). I actually recently blogged about the new Knol service from Google on my blog, from the stand-point of writing experimental protocols for laboratory research. In this case, a Knol is possibly a better medium. Nonetheless, thanks for providing this other view – I guess it depends on what your goal is.

    August 6, 2008
  5. @ Y.S searchme.com is awesome!
    It search engine does away with tradition search results and uses an iTunes inspired “cover flow” to display website screenshots.

    August 7, 2008
  6. Google will never be better than Wikipedia!

    April 19, 2010

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Our Own System » Blog Archive » New tools to find medical information
  2. Seeking health information online: does Wikipedia matter? « ScienceRoll
  3. Radiopaedia: Section Editors Needed « ScienceRoll
  4. Knol (nōl) — a Unit of Knowledge | blog@tmonadi

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