New from Google is the "Knol." Interesting idea. They've made it extremely easy for anyone to write an article on anything. For instance, I posted an article on how to make lemon sorbet (the same article appears here, in the FeedMe blog).
Google's company mission is to "organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." They have noted that the entire Internet contains a fraction of a percent of the world's knowledge. The vast majority is in people's heads. (Yahoo has talked about the same idea.) This is a way to soak up some of what's in our brains.
A lot of press on Knol is calling it a Wikipedia competitor but frankly, I think they are missing the point. Unlike Wikipedia, Knol is not collaborative: only the author controls the content. They have very few rules or editorial controls. There are no rules requiring a neutral point of view or restricting conflict of interest. Multiple articles on the same topic can be posted. They are trusting that their search product will properly prioritize all this, along with the rest of the web.
This seems like a significant marketing opportunity. Is there a "first-in" advantage? Should we rush in to write about technical topics that benefit our companies, with links to our company websites?
Not sure, but for now, I am sharing my sorbet recipe.
(You can see all my articles -- just three so far -- by starting at my own knol page.)
(P.S. The knol system is a bit buggy. It sometimes won't load and with Firefox, it is currently not letting me sign in, though it works with Safari. Earlier today, it worked with Firefox. Its search is presently not finding any of my articles, even though they are in the system. I expect it will settle down over the next few days. Google has a motto: "Release early and often." Good think Boeing doesn't follow that philosophy.)