Google Knol… Knowledge the Google Way… and the Passion?
December 18, 2007

In the last days came out the news that Google is working on a clone of Wikipedia, the name of this project is Knol… that stands for Knowledge. Good name, very inspiring, but was really needed this project?

Google is the biggest Internet Company in the World, has great products and makes life really easier. It created hi quality products that are used by million of people and others that exists but no-one know or care about.. Google owns resources and brainpower to create anything they want, they can clone or acquire ideas that they like to improve the user experience of their users. But why Clone Wikipedia?

Wikipedia is the largest encyclopedia in the world, is online, free and has no gain purpose, in my opinion is the best web site available now on Internet. Wikipedia made the wisdom of the crowds reality and is free from every opinion and political/economic power. Everyone can enter and puts information, fix topics and improve putting their own experience on it, writing on the topic they love, the topic they love most, the topics they know more… In my opinion around the world there are millions of people that knows more that “experts” or professors about some topics, because they live in that reality they practice the things that they write about. A critic to Wikipedia is that everyone can edit, also people that are not competent about a topic, so the information couldn’t be ensured by someone competent… that’s a risk, but everything is free…

Google is creating a platform where people with a solid background about a topic can create a topic and edit the information about it, and gain money if they want… because in a certain way they get payed for their performance by the advertisements that are showed on the page. It’s Google style, that probably would create hight quality material and topics, but what is the knowledge of one compared to the knowledge of the crowds. A person can see a point of view and would write about it and would support it with his knowledge, but people can give the possibility to see different points of view, from various perspectives, and together they can reach ultra-hight quality level topic.

A thing to consider is that in Wikipedia no one of the “editors” gains any money and revenue, the editors are ghosts, they do it because they know they are not going to gain anything, they do it because they believe in the project, in Knol editors gain revenue and money from their work, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but seems to me like a project to anti-democratize the web, to limit the spirit of collaboration… wouldn’t be truly web 2.0. People write about everything… at any level…

Passion is what gives to wikipedia its power, the passion of the unknown users that edits and improves it, without expecting nothing back… they do it because they want to, because they feel part of something. I have no doubt that Wikipedia is helping the world and it will help… it gives information unbounded to any power or economic game, and those information can’t be used to manipulate the crowds, because the crowds create them. Google in a certain way tries to fix the information of the topics, but it always changes and improves, and everything has to be updated, would be able the authors to keep updating the topics?

I hope that when this platform would be up-and-running Google wouldn’t modify the search results to favorite the information on their platform than the ones on Wikipedia, that would be unfair…

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