Looks like Google has finally decided to launch a user generated encyclopedia (pretty much Wikipedia but owned by Google) called Google Knol. Already having stiff competition on the playing field, which consists of Wikipedia, Scholarpedia and Helium, will Google Knol really make that much of a difference?
The answer is pretty much “Yes”, I mean, who can deny free knowledge based content online, especially when Enecyclopedia costs so much to purchase. As with Wikipedia, Google Knol aims to provide users with the ability to post content on pretty much any topic which they specialise in. The only real difference is that it allows the writer to add their personal opinion (from their experience and expertise) around the topich has been written. This gives the content abit more depth and character as well as adds a touch of reality to context.
Unfortunately, being owned by Google it does become a conflict of interest as Google’s main goal is to make their Knol pages easily found via search which will ultimately become a conflict with their need to remain accurate and unbaised. Regardless, its a first step for Google into the realm of user generated encyclopedia and it will most certainly be beneficial to the greater community.