Friday, July 25, 2008

What is a Knol?

Howard Rheingold points to an blog post on Google's Knol , an ad-driven Wikipedia where posters get a cut of the advertising revenue on the site. Google touts the knol as an "authoritative article about a specific topic" but where is the authority going to come from? If it's from the number of hits acquired, then isn't that popularity rather than authority? Their site allows you to "provide credentials" but its legitimacy seems to depend on an honor system. It's an interesting idea, but the charm of Wikipedia is is non-hierarchical framework. What happens to the wisdom of the crowds when there's a profit motive involved? And how can I get paid for writing about the median voter theorem?

No comments: