The reductionist knol
July 25th, 2008

In a post titled The reductionist knol, Dave Snowden of Cognitive Edge writes insightfully about Google’s application of its pattern of success to its attempt to compete with Wikipedia. Snowden looks at the implications of advertising and the “authoritative article about a specific topic” that knol describes as what it collects. His concluding point goes to the critical fact that knol may not be messy enough to work well on the Internet:

The other big issue is the reduction of knowledge to “units” to use Google’s own words. Knowledge is a complex phenomena and the creative messy flow of Wikipedia’s volunteers is closer to that reality than a mediated and commercial approach to widgets.

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