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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Google officially opens Knol to everyone.

When expertise knowledge may now bow gracefully to a relative thought. - sa

by Suzan Abrams

July 23, 2008. Google officially announces the opening of Knol that commands a vibrant new system on the worldwide web for the dissemination of information. Knol is also seen as a direct competitor to Wikipedia. The only difference is that the authorship on Knol will proudly carry the byline of an author or bylines of a group of authors, depending on the ownership of the said information or opinion. Up to a few months ago, when Knol was regarded as an experiment for use by experts only, it is now accessible to everyone and held as a welcome option to the man on the street. All the enthusiastic writer needs is a google account.

It is Google's rationale that despite the fact of the Web holding vast amounts of information on just about any subject, there is still a need for billions of people to benefit from the millions of others that may know "certain useful things". It is a case of more the merrier as each writer - or rather, any writer - can contribute an individual knol, meaning a voice or opinion. Google expects multiple knols on similar subjects which it insist can only be a good thing.

There is also the suggestion of strong interaction with the writer and reader, as the latter is invited to offer edits or suggestions to any relevant article. However, it stays the author's call if he/she would like to modify, edit or simply reject the earlier suggestion. There are other strong community tools and the New Yorker magazine has also offered its library of cartoons for use in an article if desired. Nothing like a touch of humour, says Google.

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My feeling is one of excitement at the very idea of this bold innovation. It is so easy to observe the race of advancement although I suspect that the quality of many articles may eventually be questionable. Only time will tell but I do greatly admire Google's verve and daring spirit.

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