Daily Archives: July 23, 2008

Knols and ‘Pedias

I think we are all familiar with the mass produced Wikipedia, right?
Today Google opened a bit of a competitor, Knol, to everyone:

Knols are authoritative articles about specific topics, written by people who know about those subjects. Today, we’re making Knol available to everyone.
The key principle behind Knol is authorship. Every knol will have an author (or group of authors) who put their name behind their content. It’s their knol, their voice, their opinion. We expect that there will be multiple knols on the same subject, and we think that is good.

It is interesting that also today the Medpedia Foundation made more information on their project available:

The Medpedia Project today announced the formation of the world’s largest collaborative online encyclopedia of medicine called Medpedia. Physicians, medical schools, hospitals, health organizations and public health professionals are now volunteering to collaboratively build the most comprehensive medical clearinghouse in the world for information about health, medicine and the body. This free public site will officially launch at the end of 2008, and a preview site becomes available today at www.medpedia.com.

Both look like very interesting and potentially valuable projects.
However, if you look at the many sample Knols on the Knol front page you will see that most of them are oriented toward medicine and written by professionals.
I can’t visualize medical professionals having bundles of time to write and maintain the types of expert articles that both Knol and Medpedia visualize. In fact, this is one reason at least one observer expects Knol to fail.
Is Google trying to preempt Medpedia?

Via Wired Campus.