Or at least that's how it looks like to me. The Blogger blog posted about Knol today. A "knol" is supposed to be "a unit of knowledge", but then why isn't it "knowl"? Intellectual property issues is my bet. Or maybe the focus group members kept pronouncing it like it rhymed with "owl" - whereas I would say it like "grassy knoll", when in fact it probably should be "noll". I digress. Anyway:
knols are better for when you want to write an authoritative article on a single topic. The tone is more formal, and, while it's easy to update the content and keep it fresh, knols aren't designed for continuously posting new content or threading. Know how to fix a leaky toilet, but don't want to write a blog about fixing up your house? In that case, Knol is for you.So I read that and poked around the Web site and thought "Wiki!" But with an interesting difference - the emphasis on non-anonymity and sole authorship, both of which fly in the face of the Wiki ethos. But notice the subtle tweak as to why - to "ensure that authors get credit for their work, [and] make the content more credible". That's a shot right across the bows of where Wiki gets the most criticism. Because of the anonymity of the Wikipedia authors and the fact anyone can change any article, there have been article defacements, pitched battles over what should be said in an article with articles changed back and forth and so on. It will be interesting to see how Knol will work and whether it will ever achieve the success, both in terms of scope and readership, as Wiki. I am betting no. But I will be watching.
One other important difference between Knol and Blogger is that Knol encourages you to reveal your true identity. Knols are meant to be authoritative articles, and, therefore, they have a strong focus on authors and their credentials. We feel that this focus will help ensure that authors get credit for their work, make the content more credible.
Do you know something and want to get credit for it? Go write a unit of knowledge!