July 28, 2008

Knol It All

Blogger just kicked off a new option -- Knol - that looks to be a pale cousin of wikipedia. Using this function, you the authority can publish articles on whatever subjects are part of your expertise. You can add, edit or delete later. Readers can comment, offering suggestions on facts, spelling, grammar, and your haircut. You the authority can also run ads, thereby potentially making money by using your brain.

Interesting concept. My first reaction was "Oh. It's wikipedia all over again." Do we really need two wikipedias?

More to the point, do I need to amend what I'm now doing? According to the blogger post, blogspot isn't really the place for expertise. It's the place for... what? a more casual kind of reality. Postings on Knol are expected to have a bit more formality. The word footnotes (or end notes, or just plain notes depending on your field) doesn't appear. Personally, I think the time for formal footnotes and their ilk is at hand. If you're going to promote yourself as an authority, the rest of us would like to know where you found the information: t in the quintessential textbook on the subject, in an interview with an expert, on wikipedia, or by communing with your dead cat.

The blogger post suggests that knol is the place where bloggers and former bloggers can affiliate their names with their ideas because most blogs are not simply the poster's name. They are instead slogans, taglines, proverbs, sorties, gags, plays on words, etc. Does that mean I erred when I gave this blog my name? Should I have done something ... God forbid... cuter?

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