Well kinda! The official Google Blog reports a new tool to “encourage people who know a particular subject to write an authoritative article about it.” The tool, Knol, which stands for a unit of knowledge, is still in development and is in the initial phase of testing. Currently, using Knol is by invitation only, but Udi Manber, VP of Engineering, sheds a little light on the goals behind this project:
The key idea behind the knol project is to highlight authors. Books have authors’ names right on the cover, news articles have bylines, scientific articles always have authors — but somehow the web evolved without a strong standard to keep authors names highlighted. We believe that knowing who wrote what will significantly help users make better use of web content. At the heart, a knol is just a web page; we use the word “knol” as the name of the project and as an instance of an article interchangeably. It is well-organized, nicely presented, and has a distinct look and feel, but it is still just a web page. Google will provide easy-to-use tools for writing, editing, and so on, and it will provide free hosting of the content. Writers only need to write; we’ll do the rest.
Manber then goes on to explain:
A knol on a particular topic is meant to be the first thing someone who searches for this topic for the first time will want to read. The goal is for knols to cover all topics, from scientific concepts, to medical information, from geographical and historical, to entertainment, from product information, to how-to-fix-it instructions.
For more information about the Knol Project, check out the official Google Blog. To see a screeshot of Knol, click the image below.