28 July 2008

Kicking the New Knol Edge

If you haven't heard, Google recently released Knol to the public. The site, kind of a blend between eHow and Wikipedia, is yet another online platform devoted to bringing out our inner experts. Articles written and posted to Knol are not editable by other users as in Wikipedia, though, so your inner expert can exist in a blissfully untampered state.

As with the myriad new services and websites launched every day, my first question is always "How can this improve my genealogy research and help me accomplish my family history goals?"

There are already two genealogy knol articles posted, both of which are fairly generally introductory pieces, and probably don't add much to the knowledge base of intermediate or advanced researchers.

I can envision, however, series of Knol articles on research in particular localities (think world-class GenWeb page)... a person could outline online and offline resources for a county, for instance. Or how about an article devoted to a particular family history book, analyzing the quality of the information or noting disproved or faulty information?

Typical of the new generation of web pages, this site will be as good as its users make it. With the high profile Knol gains from being a Google product, there is a good shot that the site will attract some good content. At the very least, it is a site to keep an eye on.

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