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Google's Knol, Expert Wiki, Goes Live

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the trusting-in-experts dept.

Google 263

Brian Jordan and other readers sent in word that Google has taken the wraps off Knol, its expert-written challenger to Wikipedia. (We discussed Knol when it was announced last year.) Wired has an in-depth look. Knol's distinctions from Wikipedia are that authors are identified by their real names (and verified), and that they can share in ad revenue if they choose to. The service initially features a lot of medical articles, which is interesting considering that Medipedia also launched today. This medical wiki is backed by Harvard's and Stanford's medical schools.

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maybe (-1, Offtopic)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 6 years ago | (#24311921)

First Post, because everybody went off to create their navel-knol.

pr0n (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24313081)

And now Google is clearly on the
dark side! [google.com]

And this is just a beta! Can you imagine what you will be getting when it's finished!

Losing Anonymity? (5, Insightful)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 6 years ago | (#24311923)

Part of contributing to Wikipedia is that you're anonymous... would you really want someone to know that despite being a huge football fan, you also knew about My Little Pony?

I like the "anonymity" on Wikipedia, and I don't think this Knol can measure up, simply because of that reason.

Re:Losing Anonymity? (5, Insightful)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 6 years ago | (#24311963)

The other thing I think will become a problem is when Expert A writes an article on Subject X, then Expert B says, hey, Subject X is missing information Z, and Export A says no way, and Expert B can't write Subject X, but will write Subject AlmostX, and then you end up with two articles on Subject X. In wikipedia, the two articles would be merged. Knol is gonna have a big synthesis problem.

Re:Losing Anonymity? (5, Funny)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 6 years ago | (#24311999)

You should write the algebra entry.

Re:Losing Anonymity? (5, Funny)

hostyle (773991) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312735)

Or the entry for Knol-it-all

Re:Losing Anonymity? (5, Funny)

j01123 (1147715) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312781)

You should write the algebra entry.

No way, he improperly uses upper-case letters for variables. I'll write the "algebra" entry using "x" and "y" and he can write an "Algebra" entry using "X" and "Y".

Re:Losing Anonymity? (5, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312049)

On the other hand, this is rather more transparent. When Expert X and Expert Y are putting out mutually contradictory versions of events, then the reader must critically evaluate them both. If it turns out that Y uses shoddy references and mostly cites his own work, while X has a wide-ranging and substantial reference base to build his article on, then it's clear that X is the one to trust, and Google gets to stay out of it.

By contrast, on Wikipedia, Author X's content will dominate the article while Author Y gets into a massive edit war, is banned, and runs off to spin some yarn to The Register about how he's persecuted by The Cabal. Then Wikipedia's image is tarnished.


(TINC)

Re:Losing Anonymity? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312077)

Basically what I'm saying is, the former should be less demanding of readers' critical thinking skills, and therefore more likely to be accepted as a source.

Re:Losing Anonymity? (4, Insightful)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312083)

By contrast, on Wikipedia, Author X's content will dominate the article while Author Y gets into a massive edit war, is banned, and runs off to spin some yarn to The Register about how he's persecuted by The Cabal. Then Wikipedia's image is tarnished.

At least Wikipedia has good information then. I don't see the problem.

Re:Losing Anonymity? (2, Insightful)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312119)

It's not a problem for readers, but you can see why it's attractive for a company like Google. They could never put out a Wikipedia for fear of being seen as The Enemy by people who think the moon landings are fake or that cellphones are making the bees return to their home planet.

Re:Losing Anonymity? (3, Funny)

strawberryutopia (1301435) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312521)

It's not a problem for readers, but you can see why it's attractive for a company like Google. They could never put out a Wikipedia for fear of being seen as The Enemy by people who think the moon landings are fake or that cellphones are making the bees return to their home planet.

Cellphones? I thought it was the Daleks.

Re:Losing Anonymity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24313127)

haha, well played

Re:Losing Anonymity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24312749)

its more like Y with an axe to grind will win the edit war and X will go off and sulk while the article gets more crap inserted into it by wiki edit nazis having quotas to fill.
have you

Re:Losing Anonymity? (3, Insightful)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312889)

Right... that's why Conservapedia got started, because all those people with the religious right-wing nutso axes to grind found Wikipedia such a hospitable environment...

Re:Losing Anonymity? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24313029)

having inserted a completely fake article into wikipedia and having had it edited multiple times with even more crap and having it last for over 4 years before some uber admin figured out the article was a steaming heap of garbage from the beginning, its a lot easier to get a biased piece of crap into wikipedia than you think.
subtle errors can be put into wikipedia more easily than you think. and are extremely hard to catch after 50-60 people have edited it.

Re:Losing Anonymity? (1)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312637)

As a long-time wikipedia administrator (who're been fairly inactive of late because of my 3 year-old's constant request for my time--and rightly so) I readily understand the point you convey.

Re:Losing Anonymity? (4, Insightful)

sick_soul (794596) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312107)

I agree, and in addition there is currently
no context when creating a new article.
It's maybe just too soon, but the process seems
to make it more difficult to reach critical mass.

I wanted to start writing something, but
desisted, because I found no contextual information.

On wikipedia I would read some article, see a
dangling link with no page associated, and create
one from there. Or read an existing one, and
just add additional information, or correct
some detail.

Otherwise it is hard to just start writing
general, context-free articles about
"what I know". Maybe they should have started
with wikipedia content, applying the new process
for further edits and new articles, in order
to already have a lot of context already.

Re:Losing Anonymity? (2, Interesting)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312791)

Dude, what's with the oddly placed line breaks? Does your web browser not do word-wrap on text boxes, and are you on a screen only a few hundred pixels across? If you'd have put line breaks in where you instead put double breaks, your currently 17(+3 blank lines) comment is a whopping 5 on my screen.

Re:Losing Anonymity? (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312621)

I see that A has been exported, so maybe you can write/edit it now :)

Re:Losing Anonymity? (4, Interesting)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312763)

This actually reminds me somewhat of academic publishing. One expert writes an article, and if it's a worthwhile article that gets attention and another expert has views that differ significantly, they can write a counterpoint.

The nice part about this new system is that the ORIGINAL article can be revised immediately. If the first author is intellectually honest, they'll take any criticisms into account and revise what they've written where they find it appropriate, and maybe add links to the counterpoint article. So ideally, you'd get a nice network of interrelated expert opinions that you could compare and contrast on their merits, rather than Wikipedia's studied "neutrality" that often ends up hurting as much as it helps.

Re:Losing Anonymity? (2, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312863)

The other thing I think will become a problem is when Expert A writes an article on Subject X, then Expert B says, hey, Subject X is missing information Z, and Export A says no way, and Expert B can't write Subject X, but will write Subject AlmostX

Why can't Expert B write Subject X? There is explicitly no prohibition on topic duplication, and no (that I can find) prohibition on title duplication.

In wikipedia, the two articles would be merged. Knol is gonna have a big synthesis problem.

Knol is not a work. Knol is place for people to put works (and to collaborate on them if they chose). Wikipedia is a collaborative work.

Re:Losing Anonymity? (2, Funny)

Paralizer (792155) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312003)

What the hell is wrong with My Little Pony? I thought that was a /. favorite.

Re:Losing Anonymity? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24312059)

only when you grease it up and shove it up your ass so yoda will have something to ride.

Re:Losing Anonymity? (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312331)

ZOMGPONIES!!! [flickr.com]

Re:Losing Anonymity? (2, Insightful)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312161)

would you really want someone to know that despite being a huge football fan, you also knew about My Little Pony?

I don't see why would I mind. I am a complex person, with very disparate interests and abilities, and I don't mind at all if people know it.

Re:Losing Anonymity? (2, Insightful)

falconwolf (725481) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312311)

I like the "anonymity" on Wikipedia, and I don't think this Knol can measure up, simply because of that reason.

With Wiki you don't know if the author knows anything about the subject whereas with Knol you can see the author's qualifications.

Falcon

Re:Losing Anonymity? (4, Insightful)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312519)

I like the "anonymity" on Wikipedia, and I don't think this Knol can measure up, simply because of that reason.

With Wiki you don't know if the author knows anything about the subject whereas with Knol you can see the author's qualifications.

Right, but why rely upon ethos for evaluating the correctness of an article? Are we really going to jump into the fallacy of appeal to authority so quickly?

Re:Losing Anonymity? (4, Insightful)

atari2600 (545988) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312387)

Excellent point - the reason that Google has Knol out is the reason they have Image Labeler out. Create content (for Google) / test Google's software for free while enjoying Google's "free" offerings.

I can see Knol as being beneficial from the perspective of selling my own goods (free advertising) but it's not really a replacement for Wikipedia and I don't think Google wants/intends Knol to replace Wikipedia. Knol is about sharing expertise and I don't see a reason why Wikipedia and Knol can co-exist in harmony.

Re:Losing Anonymity? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24312649)

In fact, browsing very briefly through knol, it seems more like about.com than wikipedia.

Re:Losing Anonymity? (1)

snowgirl (978879) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312915)

In fact, browsing very briefly through knol, it seems more like about.com than wikipedia.

Half of about.com seems to be an immediately copied version of wikipedia. I found one article that was pretty much exactly word for word, changed the text slightly, and POW! there's my change on about.com.

Online Resources (4, Insightful)

Narpak (961733) | more than 6 years ago | (#24311937)

I think it is good that there is competition in this field. Perhaps the two services can even come to complement each other, or at least provide a good database of information based on different principles. At the very least it should force both to do their best to provide a good easy interface and information that is as far as is possible; verified.

Re:Online Resources (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24312261)

Except when the sources are bad. Take this knol article, for instance

http://knol.google.com/k/hunter-handsfield/safe-sex/nAi5F17X/WdH0tg#

This safe sex page doesn't even mention that going into IT can ensure a 100% avoidance of STDS. And they call themselves experts!

Re:Online Resources (4, Interesting)

nbauman (624611) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312947)

Except when the sources are bad. Take this knol article, for instance

http://knol.google.com/k/hunter-handsfield/safe-sex/nAi5F17X/WdH0tg#

This safe sex page doesn't even mention that going into IT can ensure a 100% avoidance of STDS. And they call themselves experts!

That's interesting. H. Hunter Handsfield is one of the top experts on STDs in the U.S. I have a textbook with his chapters, and I heard him give a lecture on STDs at a National Institutes of Health conference. That conference was not a good place to pick up girls.

He's also the author of the famous color atlas of STDs, which is another good way to discourage activities which lead to STDs.

The New Scientist reported on a conference in London in which participants tried out different pickup lines and evaluated the results.

The worst pickup line of all: "I have a PhD in computer science."

So you are correct in that respect.

Re:Online Resources (1)

Klaus_1250 (987230) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312317)

There already are competitors: http://en.citizendium.org/ [citizendium.org] and http://uncyclopedia.org/ [uncyclopedia.org] . The latter may be a bit less useful as Wikipedia, but it is a lot more fun.

Wikipedia ^ ~Wikipedia (5, Insightful)

Metasquares (555685) | more than 6 years ago | (#24311953)

It's like Wikipedia but without the open collaboration which made Wikipedia successful.

Re:Wikipedia ^ ~Wikipedia (4, Insightful)

elgaard (81259) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312229)

It is also a Wikipedia without database dumps.

Even if much of the material will be under a creative-commons, no one but Google can control Knol in the future.
So no forks.

Re:Wikipedia ^ ~Wikipedia (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24312325)

Do you remember google answers? You paid an expert to find you answeres. That didn't work either. Not only that, Google can falsify information it chooses to.

There's no way a lab of 50 people, is going to be able to out-research, and be more accurate than 50 million people.

Re:Wikipedia ^ ~Wikipedia (2, Funny)

PylonHead (61401) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312615)

Yeah, I get the feeling that this is going to be Yahoo vs Google in search world, except this time Google is the Yahoo.

For the complete ClusterF!!! that Wikipedia is, it's got some fascinating information. The articles I read on Knol were frankly shallow by comparison.

It does seem to be skewed towards medical articles, and there might be advantages to having experts write up medical entries.

I'm sure the Google's lawyers quake when they think of someone typing "epileptic seizure" into Google, getting the Wikipedia entry, and some joker has added advice to smear yogurt over the victims nipples.

Re:Wikipedia ^ ~Wikipedia (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312737)

It's like Wikipedia but without the open collaboration which made Wikipedia successful.

Well, except that -- at the author's discretion -- "knols" can either use open, moderated, or closed collaboration, so its not "without open collaboration".

Re:Wikipedia ^ ~Wikipedia (1)

zullnero (833754) | more than 6 years ago | (#24313139)

It's like Wikipedia but without the open collaboration which made Wikipedia successful.

Wikipedia with optional ads, too. Whatever is in Knol, will most likely already be in Wikipedia without intrusive ads. I, as the regular user, will stick with Wikipedia, thank you. It's the same reason why I'll use craigslist instead of my newspaper's online classifieds, too.

blah (2, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#24311987)

Oh, please, like we're supposed to believe them because of all their fancy degrees and significant experience in the field?

Citizendium? (3, Informative)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312023)

Why duplicate the efforts of Citizendium [citizendium.org] ? Are knol's goals substantially different?

Re:Citizendium? (3, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312105)

I believe that Knol articles are all single-author, while Citizendium is basically Wikipedia with mandatory editor registration.

Re:Citizendium? (1)

bledri (1283728) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312485)

I hadn't seen Citizendium [citizendium.org] before, that looks interesting.

I think the two projects have differing philosophies and goals although there is some overlap. I think that Knol is "less wiki-like", more a collection of expert (and amateur) articles that allows for author controlled collaboration. Citizendium seems to be like a classic collaborative wiki with stronger authentication and editing policies.

Of course I could be completely wrong. I'm suppose to be debugging not surfing. Doh!

Hmmm.... (3, Informative)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312029)

Went to Medipedia.com and it says they don't launch until the end of 2008

Not bad, but it's missing something (4, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312067)

Wikipedia definitely suffers from the problem of having a lot of know nothing jackasses writing articles, random defacements, and a lot of useless crap.

But Knol seems to be missing the best part of wikipedia - extensive internal links. Half the fun of wikipedia is looking up something, then wasting a couple hours wandering through topics till you get someplace you might not have gone otherwise.

Re:Not bad, but it's missing something (2, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312183)

Half the fun of wikipedia is looking up something, then wasting a couple hours wandering through topics till you get someplace you might not have gone otherwise.

And that, of course, is also the fun of looking up something in a dead-tree encyclopedia. As you look up the article you need, you run across other interesting articles and end up learning all sorts of unexpected things.

Re:Not bad, but it's missing something (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312341)

Except it is a lot easier and wider with hyperlinks.

Re:Not bad, but it's missing something (4, Insightful)

pgillan (1043668) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312633)

And that, of course, is also the fun of looking up something in a dead-tree encyclopedia. As you look up the article you need, you run across other interesting articles and end up learning all sorts of unexpected things.

In a dead-tree encyclopedia, sure, I might look up information about the Serengeti, and then learn all kinds of interesting things about spiders, shoelaces, and salmonella, but with Wikipedia I can learn about things that start with other letters.

Re:Not bad, but it's missing something (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312329)

Actually, most of the articles are very good informative, and accurate.

There ahve been some studies regard the accuracy of the sci3ence stuff, and it was more accurate then the Encyclopedia Britannica

Wikipedia a very solid. Nothing else, it's a good starting place.
No source should be a sole source of data for a paper.

Re:Not bad, but it's missing something (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312345)

Wikipedia definitely suffers from the problem of having a lot of know nothing jackasses writing articles, random defacements, and a lot of useless crap.

So it's like slashdot then?

Re:Not bad, but it's missing something (1)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312363)

Amen, brotha. I love surfing Wikipedia, and even fixing other people's bad writing. And as much as Wikipedia has its problems, I don't see that Knol offers much over it. Its articles aren't encyclopedic, but are more like standalone magazine articles. They also aren't guaranteed to improve over time with new information, something that would happen if new verified experts were to come in and edit existing articles. That happens all the time on Wikipedia (if you care to substitute "unqualified hacks" for "new verified experts"), but I don't see a community forming around Knol in the same way.

On the other hand, the articles themselves look quite good. In a way, what they've created is really an online magazine, like Wired or Ars Technica, but with no core subject matter. Because of this, and because of its style, I don't see people flocking to it. But Knols will appear in search results, and that's bound to send traffic to it.

Re:Not bad, but it's missing something (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24312431)

Yes, but Knol is going to end up with the know nothing jackasses writing articles. They're already there. I've seen several articles written by professional writers and not by someone who is actually a professional in the field.

Reading what Knol is all about, it's nothing more than a glorified blogging platform.

"So what subjects can I write on?
(Almost) anything you like. You pick the subject and write it the way you see fit. We don't edit knols nor do we try to enforce any particular viewpoint â" your knol should be written as you want it to be written."

How is that any different than any random jackass having their own pointless blog?

Well I'm off to Knol to write about Quantum Oil Lubricators then I'm going to write an article about George Washington and his relation to the KKK, because any random jackass can write about anything.

Seriously, how fucking stupid.

Re:Not bad, but it's missing something (0, Redundant)

Foolicious (895952) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312893)

Slashdot definitely suffers from the problem of having a lot of know nothing jackasses writing articles, random defacements, and a lot of useless crap.

There...fixed that for you.

More of a blog than an encyclopedia (4, Insightful)

aembleton (324527) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312073)

I've only really looked at this article [google.com] , which was the most prominently featured on their front page. Reading the first few paragraphs it comes across as one persons view and experiences as opposed to an encyclopaedia. Some work will need to be done on this if it is to be a serious challenger to Wikipedia.

Re:More of a blog than an encyclopedia (2, Interesting)

bledri (1283728) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312221)

That's funny that the featured article you read seemed like a blog, because one of the tips for writing a knol is:

* Don't write a blog. Knols are meant to be standalone articles on a topic of your choosing. Knol is not optimized for diary-type writing.

I skimmed a couple of the medical articles and they actually seemed extremely well done and complete. It will be interesting if this goes anywhere or just becomes a centralized place for self-promoting blow hards on the 'net.

Re:More of a blog than an encyclopedia (1)

ancientt (569920) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312265)

Funny. At least I hope you intended it to be funny. I'm not sure though if your choice of article or their feature on it to be so prominent is funnier.

I instead looked over lung cancer and toilet clogs, and I found it to be much closer to reading encyclopedia entries than wikipedia. I'm torn, on the one hand I see this as a great way to categorize knowledge, having wikipedia as a wide but non-authoritative source of knowledge and knol as an authoritative one would have them complement each other rather than compete with each other. On the other hand, I fear that people will choose to contribute to only one rather than both, thus stalling the momentum of wikipedia (further) and slowing the contribution rate.

On the third hand, I wonder if knol will considered a valid reference source for writing. It would be great to have such an online source if it can eventually have even a quarter of the submissions.

I'd also like to ponder whether wikipedia could do tiered levels of authority, having authors whose submissions are given more weight than the general submissions and if by doing so they could combine the knowledge systems, having content shared between systems and allowing users to use whichever interface they would prefer. I'd like to ponder it, but I ran out of hands.

Re:More of a blog than an encyclopedia (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24312439)

Posting Anonymously so I don't negate my moderation...

I'm not worried about this. Most of the hardcore contributors to Wikipedia are not academics or prominent experts. They're just highly motivated amateurs. The two demographics don't overlap because academics usually want attribution for the content they write (it is, after all, their profession to pass on knowledge) and academics have little patience for engaging in edit wars or undertaking the lengthy process of being socialized into the Wikipedia community.

Insofar as these Knol articles will be written by experts with attribution, I think that this will complement Wikipedia. Wikipedia has a hard time getting easy access to scholarly-level sources. Most people won't go to a library to research their topic, and few have access to JSTOR or EBSCOHOST or other journal databases. Knols will be a low barrier way for academics to write something that is easily accessible and quickly publishable, while Wikipedians will be able to access and cite Knols with far greater ease than other more traditional sources.

One way to think about this project is simply Google attempting to fill in the logistics chain between accumulated primary source knowledge -> published secondary source knowledge, and -> online tertiary source knowledge. Since Wikipedians are disallowed from "original research", synthesizing primary source knowledge is out of the question. It's access to authoritative secondary sources that's most necessary to Wikipedia, and Knol seems to be an effort toward filling that gap.

Re:More of a blog than an encyclopedia (1)

aembleton (324527) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312473)

I've now read through the Lung Cancer article [google.com] and it is very well written. Perhaps Wikipedia pages will gain links to these articles as authoritative pieces.

Re:More of a blog than an encyclopedia (1)

halsver (885120) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312533)

"On the third hand..."
"I'd like to ponder it, but I ran out of hands."

So you didn't run out at two hands, but at three hands. You must be 50% more efficient than the rest of us with that third hand! Unless of course you just use that third hand for pondering, in which case you'd be 50% less efficient!

Re:More of a blog than an encyclopedia (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312293)

This just went up: "Film Review: L'homme Sans Tete example. This review was written for a National Film School production workshop." I get the feeling they're not really screening for content all that much. Thousands of chunks of small blog- or magazine-style content is not going to make for a good reference site.

Re:More of a blog than an encyclopedia (2, Informative)

Eq 7-2521 (159354) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312295)

I read the article as well, but question his authority on the subject. While convenient, stoves are certainly not essential in all areas at all times. On the other hand, Bourbon is, which he fails to mention at all.

Re:More of a blog than an encyclopedia (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312825)

I've only really looked at this article, which was the most prominently featured on their front page. Reading the first few paragraphs it comes across as one persons view and experiences as opposed to an encyclopaedia. Some work will need to be done on this if it is to be a serious challenger to Wikipedia.

Its not really a direct challenger to Wikipedia, its a pretty different concept but Wikipedia is the most familiar thing to most readers that is somewhat similar, so they get portrayed as being head-to-head competitors. Its not at all aimed at being encyclopedic in the way Wikipedia is. Aside from the medical articles, the next biggest group seems to be "how-to" articles that would be out-of-scope for Wikipedia. Its also not a single, coherent, community-edited work with policies designed to promote consistent style and non-duplication.

Its more a "marketplace of articles", some of which may be collaborative, than an encyclopedia.

Re:More of a blog than an encyclopedia (1)

SevenSpirits (1266138) | more than 6 years ago | (#24313013)

If you'd read past the first section, which was an introduction, you would have found that the rest of the article was much less personal and very informative.

Typing Equations? (5, Insightful)

biased_estimator (1222498) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312123)

I only looked at it briefly, but they don't provide an easy way to type equations? I suppose that might be a lot to ask for... I guess I'll just have to LaTeXiT.

Re:Typing Equations? (1)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312849)

I suppose that might be a lot to ask for... I guess I'll just have to LaTeXiT

Right, too much to ask for. How old is TeX, again? And we all know it's not the only package out there that offers equations. So no, it's not too much to ask for.

Scholarpedia? (5, Informative)

jnana (519059) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312173)

On the topic of Wikipedia-like sites, I recently found Scholarpedia [scholarpedia.com] , which I imagine a lot of slashdotters might like. They don't have that much content yet, and they are currently focusing on a few fields (science- and tech-related), but I have found some really high-quality articles by experts in the field, like:

Neural Correlates of Consciousness [scholarpedia.org] , by Christof Koch.

Algorithmic Information Theory [scholarpedia.org] , my Marcus Hutter.

Re:Scholarpedia? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312359)

nobod with this color scheme on a home page should be allow to post anything, ever~
http://www.klab.caltech.edu/~koch/index-main-page.html [caltech.edu]

Re:Scholarpedia? (1)

jnana (519059) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312589)

Yeah, that dark blue text on black background is practically unreadable on my monitor...

Re:Scholarpedia? (1)

jmv (93421) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312951)

I came across Scholarpedia a while ago and noted some non-free license issues. Now, it seems to be fine, so I'm not sure whether they changed the license or whether I just made stuff up that wasn't there.

Make your own rules! (1)

tttonyyy (726776) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312211)

In my version of Medipedia, picking your nose and then eating it is allowed. ;)

It's all about hot, nasty, BA speed... (3, Interesting)

Adreno (1320303) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312269)

While I understand the theory behind Knol, it's going to take Google an *awful* long time to catch up to Wikipedia in terms of volume, if at all. While Wiki may have its fair share of "useless crap", it makes the publication process many orders of magnitude faster than Knol can probably ever hope of achieving. Thoughts? Can Knol catch up with Wiki in at least "useful volume"?

Re:It's all about hot, nasty, BA speed... (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312471)

All depend on the number of people wanting to put content there.

But i dont see it as a Wikipedia replacement. Wikipedia mean to be not only the reference on a particular topic, but also something objective, not attached to a particular person or how that person sees reality. In the other hand, at least some articles in Knol gave me the idea that more focused in how the author see something. Wikipedia goes for "This is that" vs Knol's "This is how i see that"

Another useless Google feature.... (0, Troll)

boxless (35756) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312289)

You won't be using in a year.

0ho8o (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24312381)

dying. Everyone the project Disturbing. If you won't be 5tanding used to. SHIT ON

Should be an article on conjunctions (3, Funny)

MarkTraceur (1329579) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312465)

From the content policy:
"Pedophilia, Incest and Bestiality:
Users may not publish written, image, audio or video content that promotes pedophilia, incest and bestiality."

They never said we couldn't promote pedophilia, incest, OR bestiality. First person to get an apology from Google for this gets bonus points :) Screenshot or it didn't happen!

The Grassy Knol (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312487)

everything you allways wanted to know about pot
and dead kennedys
but were afraid to ask.

Knol on Wikipedia, Wikipedia on Knol (5, Funny)

Glasswire (302197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312493)

Knol on Wikipedia [google.com] is pretty empty. Whereas
Wikipedia on Knol [wikipedia.org] is very informative.
Is that an indicator?

Re:Knol on Wikipedia, Wikipedia on Knol (2, Insightful)

ornil (33732) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312561)

I'd say that's an indicator of the fact that Wikipedia has a million entries (after years of work), and Knol has maybe a few thousand. Let's see how fast it grows - that'd be a real indication.

Re:Knol on Wikipedia, Wikipedia on Knol (1)

pablomme (1270790) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312857)

Wikipedia has a million entries

Make that 2.5 million [wikipedia.org] . Man is it big..

interface problems ? (1)

cinnamon colbert (732724) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312511)

we "all" "know" how to use wikipedia, knol and others that start with a different gui have a problem ?
I know i spent a lot of time learning wikipedia, and am reluctant to switch; also, in the medical field that the current knol home page highlights, wikipedia is remarkably good

Too many pedias (1)

Pincus (744497) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312581)

Has anyone purchased pedipedia.org/.com, to create the site tracking the hundreds of Wikipedia offspring?

pedipedia.org (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24312841)

Sounds like something for NAMBLA members or other sexual predators, or maybe a NBC sting operation to catch those people.

s/Wikipedia/about.com/ (2, Interesting)

rmassa (529444) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312593)

This seems like a less-crappy version of about.com and not anything at all like Wikipedia. Perhaps that's who Google is really "competing" with?

Monopolization of facts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24312627)

It seems that there is nothing to stop someone starting a knol, entering a totally biased entry, and stopping others contributing to it. The creator of the knol has absolute control over it. Am I wrong, or does this sound problematic to you?

Re:Monopolization of facts (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312975)

Ask the editors of Conservapedia whether it's a problem.

Re:Monopolization of facts (1)

SevenSpirits (1266138) | more than 6 years ago | (#24313051)

It's more like a free market of facts. Your crappy entry will get modded down, and some better article on the same topic will get the traffic.

evil? (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312647)

1. scrape wikipedia
2. post to knol
3. ??
4. profit

Ok, everyone start writing wikipedia bots! (1)

caywen (942955) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312665)

I just watched "Mongol" which I liked. I just searched Knol for "Mongolia" and came up with no results. I will check back in 3 days. If there is still no entry on Mongolia, my sense will be that Wikipedia will not be very challenged. Just like I instinctively go to google.com for miscellaneous searches, I instinctively go to wikipedia for learning.

A problem with "experts" (1)

grantham (49250) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312731)

While I think Wikipedia could use more editing by experts, I don't know that this is the way to do it. When I checked out the site earlier, one of the pages featured was Steve Pantilat, M.D. [google.com] . The expert on this individual? Steve Pantilat. Wonder how many critical edits of Steve Pantilat will make it past the editor.

Re:A problem with "experts" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24313067)

Hey, Steve's a nice guy! Don't pick on him. Besides, that is a bad example. While he is biased, one could argue that no author cold ever be more of an expert on "Steve Pantilat, M.D." than Steve himself. A better example for your argument would be eczema. Lots of people know as much or more about that disease than Dr. Cho, the author of the knol. Since I assume Google doesn't want to arbitrate a fight over the title, they must be planning to allow hundreds of knol's titled "Eczema" Come to think of it, you could create your own "Steve Pantilat, M.D." knol and say whatever you want about him. Just remember, (in theory) you can't do it anonymously.

Re:A problem with "experts" (1)

SevenSpirits (1266138) | more than 6 years ago | (#24313095)

"This is a special knol where you can write about yourself. It was automatically created when you first signed into Knol, and it is always published (i.e. everyone can see what you are writing here). Please use this knol to tell your readers about yourself. By default, this is the page readers will be directed to when clicking on your name within the Knol environment. If you want to write a knol about something else, please click the [Write a Knol] link."

Bio pages appear to be a feature of the site.

Dumb, dumb, dumb (1)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312741)

Part of gaining neutral information about a subject is through logic and reasoning, discourse and all those other forgotten arts.

Having some egotripping expert beat everyone on their heads with his Ph.d. might be good to get the perceived truth out there.

But what if the egotripping expert just happened to be plain wrong?

Yeah sorry, I'm an egotripper with a BA in philosophy, and I just happen to be of the oppinion that Logic and Argumentation trumphs any degree.

Re:Dumb, dumb, dumb (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312917)

Part of gaining neutral information about a subject is through logic and reasoning, discourse and all those other forgotten arts.

Which Knol allows. While portrayed here as an "expert Wiki", its really not "expert" and, while in some sense Wiki-like, isn't much Wikipedia-like. Anyone can write a knol, on any topic, there is no "expertise" requirement.

Re:Dumb, dumb, dumb (2, Insightful)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312943)

As a fellow egotripper with a BA in philosophy, I'll agree that logic and argumentation can trump a degree. But as Wikipedia aptly demonstrates, in order for dialogue to arrive at the best, neutral information, the participants have to be 1) logical, and 2) knowledgeable. Wikipedia fails repeatedly on any contentious topic because participation is a sufficient credential, where expertise really would make a difference.

Wikipedia is a large stategic threat to Google (5, Interesting)

solferino (100959) | more than 6 years ago | (#24312887)

I've said it before on Slashdot. Wikipedia is a large strategic threat to Google.

With things like the Wikipedia search box in Firefox people can go directly to the Wikipedia page on a subject rather than type it in to Google. If they want to read further they will follow the external links at the bottom of the page. Every time they go to Wikipedia directly that is lost revenue for Google.

Search engines are good but they are good for active thinkers. Most people are passive readers and they just want to read a basic overview and have a few selected quality links to take them further if need be.

Hence Knol. Google's competitor to Wikipedia. But it's too late. Good.

not impressed (1)

speedtux (1307149) | more than 6 years ago | (#24313047)

I like a lot of Google things, but Knol leaves me scratching my head. Knol articles are just that: plain articles with very little structure or linking. And I don't think that one expert can compete with dozens of people collaborating on an article.

A lot of the stuff on Knol is CC. Perhaps it could legally be incorporated into Wikipedia. But, frankly, I don't see why anybody would bother.

What happens when (1)

gorrepati (866378) | more than 6 years ago | (#24313097)

Somebody who is an "expert", copies stuff from wikipedia on knoll, and tries to get paid for it?

Search broken? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24313165)

Everything I search for comes up with "No results found". Is the search feature broken, or is there just a lack of content on the site?

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