Ok, finally Google is starting to make a move against Wikipedia, with the private launch of Google Knol. The specifics of the system are not yet known, but from what we can read between the lines, the interesting difference betwen Knol and Wikipedia is that in Knol content will be authored by a "group of experts" (that will later be able to share ad-revenue with Google for their efforts?).
If this is true, then clearly Google is responding to the long-standing joke (started in the TV show Office) that Wikipedia is reliable "because anybody can edit it". Google must be proud to "have gotten the message"... of all conservatives who refuse to accept Wikipedia.
Good job, Google! Nice swing from a progressive thinking away and into aligning with stagnating conservativism. So, Google does not believe in the Wisdom of Crowds, anymore? And here we thought the whole point James Surowiecki was making was that crowds are always smarter than a bunch of "experts". Ironic, how we are going back to "experts", is not it?
You, my friends, can make "Knols" (What the heck is this with Google people trying to come up with an alternative English, anyway?) as your "the first thing someone who searches for this topic for the first time will want to read.", but I am sticking with Wikipedia. Wiki has been the first entry into a new subject, for me, for a long time now and I am not complaining.
I think Google is just desperately reacting to the unfortunate reality that people now prefer to start research in Wikipedia rather than Google. Desperation is never a good adviros, though and Google seems to be missing the point.
I assess the chances of Knol's success somewhere near that of Google Video and Orkut.