Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Knol - Google's giant "We can do it better than you" to Wikipedia

Knol is cute.

Seriously, it is. And while it may not necessary be an attack on Wikipedia, it sure does seem that way. At least to most people.

For those not in the know, Knol is Google's lastest project, aimed at having users write articles on whatever they choose to for the benefit of others. So long as you have an account, you can join in and write (hopefully) about what you know. One thing I've noticed is the use of people's actual names for those who publish articles. I don't recall ever really noticing that on wikipedia.

Another thing is the lack of pictures. I don't see much pictures and diagrams on Knol. Look at these two pages on entrepreneurship - one from Wikipedia and the other from Knol. Wikipedia has two related diagrams on their page while Knol doesn't. Finally, Wikipedia has a lot of links to related articles within the wikisphere. Knol doesn't point inward of itself to refer people to new ideas within the text of any given article.

I must say that for now, I'm going to stick with Wikipedia, mainly because it has a larger base of knowledge (it appears that Knol has about seven pages worth of "featured" articles). But, I'm sure that as time goes on, Knol will grow to be a much more realistic alternative to the Wiki-King.


  1. Hi, Ryan. This is the techiest thing you posted recently, so I thought this was the right place to leave this message. I stumbled across a site today which may help you with two of your interests at once:

  2. *wips out dictionary and verb conjugation book*

    This is going to be fun. Thanks for the link. One I noticed was that I was at least able to follow along (a lot of diagrams were in english). But this brings up a question I've always had: Objective-C and other computer languages uses English keywords, so does that mean that those who speak French or whatnot must have an idea or working knowledge of the English language in order to code?

  3. The short answer to your question is "yes". It's not that hard to learn a few words like "while", "for", "if", etc. (a bit like learning Japanese words to do Judo or Karate, I think). But a programmer at some point is going to encounter an error message in English from some 3rd-party code library, and they'll look it up on Google and find some forum message in English about how to solve the problem.