23 July 2008

Google's "Knol"

Today, Google has announced the public availability of "Knol" - described as a Web authoring system for creating longer length and, by implication, more serious bits of writing than are created on Weblogs.

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. We expect that there will be multiple knols on the same subject, and we think that is good.

With Knol, we are introducing a new method for authors to work together that we call "moderated collaboration." With this feature, any reader can make suggested edits to a knol which the author may then choose to accept, reject, or modify before these contributions become visible to the public. This allows authors to accept suggestions from everyone in the world while remaining in control of their content. After all, their name is associated with it!


The items on the home page seem to show a bias towards medical issues, with articles on Carpal tunnel syndrome, Chronic stomach pain and Thoracic outlet syndrome. However their are also links to more mundane things, such as how to install a kitchen tap. The general idea seems to be that all is grist to the Knol mill.

Articles are signed and may be edited - but any edits have to be approved by the author(s). The obvious comparison is with Wikipedia and Citizendium - Knol appears to be more like the latter than the former and I imagine we may see the same persons contributing to all three. Of the three, however, Citizendium seems to have the better editorial control - which is why my own developing article on Information Management is there.

20 comments:

  1. If "knol" were to become an irregular verb, "knolling" and/or "knoling" (Yank vs Brit English spelling, yeah?) would work just fine as the spelling for the present/active participle or gerund forms. But what about for the irregular past tense verb form or the past/passive participle? It seems to yours truly, the Intrepid Netrepreneur, that using "knel" as the past tense and "knoln" as the past perfect is the best bet, rendering up the hyphenated adjective "well-knoln" for use with any knol that might rank high in not only the Google search engine, for example, but for any search engine whatsoever on the World Wide Web, whether it is Yahoo!, MSN, Ask, Quintura, Dogpile or ChaCha. The Knol Website might belong to Google, but how could Google lay claim to "knol" as a word and still do no evil? Case in point, does the word "google" belong to Google?

    As for the intransitive versus transitive verb? I suggest: Both, as in, “He knolls twice a day.” and “She knel it before I did, so I moderately collaborated to fix her knolling.”

    This brings us to the passive voice form of this new verb, that is, “be” + “knoln” (+ by someone).

    For example, “It is often knoln by Iago.” The word "it” here most likely would be the subject matter at hand, as in the case of this piece of writing, wherein one might point out the obvious: “This knolling is being knoln by yours truly.”

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think Citizendium turned out to be a major flop. With all their talk of "experts", the truth is that they really don't have enough experts to do the job (probably because real experts have limited free time, that they rather spend somewhere else).

    ReplyDelete
  3. There are non surgical treatments for thoracic outlet syndrome that work very well. Here is a presentation I did on that very subject at the 12th Annual World Congress on Anti-aging Medicine, Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas Nevada, December 4, 2004

    Presentation on Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
    by Dr James Stoxen DC

    http://www.teamdoctors.org/english/Dr_James_Stoxen_Team_Doctors_Thoracic_Outlet_Syndrome_World_Congress_Anti_Aging.htm

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