Google (opens in new tab) will launch what looks to be a formidable Wikipedia rival. Knol was announced yesterday night by Udi Manber, VP Engineering at Google.
Knol is another Google attempts to convert the wealth of data available on the internet into readable and easily accessible information.
Google is banking on its users to collaborate, share their knowledge and create a giant database like Wikipedia.
Knol, which represents a unit of knowledge, aims at encouraging "people who know a particular subject to write an authoritative article about it.", with particular highlight on the author's.
It is interesting to note that it is the second attempt by Google to foster the creation of new content.
Google Answers, where people could ask questions and pay for the answers, was shut after poor performance and Yahoo Answers wrecked its chances of becoming the market leader.
The content on Knol (opens in new tab) will be free to use and copy and will be released under the Creative Content license 3.0.
The first image of Knol looks very promising, far cleaner than Wikipedia.
The search giant either buys companies with great potential (Youtube or Dejanews) or comes up with solutions to compete with established and larger challenger.
It is interesting to see how Wikipedia will react to the threat of Google encroaching on its turf.
Jimmy Wales' Wikipedia has expressed a keen interest in challenging with a project called WikiAsari (opens in new tab).