Google to tackle Wikipedia with new knowledge service

Google is to go head-to-head with Wikipedia, the web’s largest reference work, in a clash of two of the internet’s most powerful brands.A new Google service, dubbed knol, will invite “people who know a particular subject to write an authoritative article about it”, Udi Manber, a Google engineer, said.Like Wikipedia, articles in knol (the name derives from “knowledge”) will be free to read online. In a departure from the nonprofit Wikipedia model, however, knol’s authors will be able to attach advertising to their work and take a share of revenues. see:
Google’s Know-It-All Project
Google wants in on the Wikipedia game. On Friday, the search engine announced the creation of “Knol,” a project that allows users to create their own Wikipedia-like pages on specific subjects. The big difference: users put their names–and Google’s advertisements–on their knol pages and split the revenue with the search company.The project , which is described as “experimental” by Google, could be seen as good news for wiki-heads hoping to make money from the same specialized knowledge they give to Wikipedia for free.But it set off jitters among those in the search business who worry that it represents another step by Google to become a Web publisher as well as a search engine. Increasingly, they contend, Google-produced pages could fill the search engine’s results and push out other publishers’ content.

Wikipedia Competitor Being Tested by Google
Google is testing a new Web service intended to become a repository of knowledge from experts on various topics, one that could turn into a competitor to Wikipedia and other sites.If it attracts a following, the service could accelerate Google’s transformation from a search engine into a company that helps create and publish Web content. Some critics said that shift could compromise Google’s objectivity in presenting search results.The service, called Knol, which is short for knowledge, would allow people to create Web pages on any topic. It is designed to include features that permit readers to submit comments, rate pages and suggest changes. However, unlike Wikipedia, which allows anyone to edit an entry, only the author of a “knol,” as the pages in the service would be called, would be allowed to edit. Different authors could have competing pages on the same topic.

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