Google's 'Knol' Potential Challenge To Wikipedia
The concept, revealed in a posting on Google's Web site, poses a challenge to the nonprofit Wikipedia, whose entries are generated by unpaid, anonymous contributors. Google is calling its alternative "knol"--the company's shorthand for a "unit of knowledge." Submissions are currently by invitation only as Google fine-tunes the system.
"There are millions of people who possess useful knowledge that they would love to share, and there are billions of people who can benefit from it," wrote Ubi Manber, Google's vice president of engineering, in the company's posting about the new service. "We believe that many do not share that knowledge today simply because it is not easy enough to do that."
Wikipedia, now in its sixth year, attracted 56.1 million U.S. visitors in October, making it the eighth-most-popular Web site, according to comScore Media Metrix. Google's properties, which include video-sharing site YouTube, drew 131.6 million U.S. visitors, second only to Yahoo Inc.