tonybaldwin: tony baldwin (Default)
I can't believe I'm just now learning of this. I found out at Ed Yourdon's blog.

Back in 2007, Google released Knol, a user edited repository of knowledge that some have likened to Wikipedia.

According to Google's own Knol Help,

Knol has one goal: to help you share what you know.

The Knol project is a site that hosts many knols units of knowledge written about various subjects. The authors of the knols can take credit for their writing, provide credentials, and elicit reviews and comments. Users can provide feedback, comments, and related information. So the Knol project is a platform for sharing information, with multiple cues that help you evaluate the quality and veracity of information. 1


As I see it, Knol is pretty cool. It is like Wikipedia, in that users are invited to share their knowledge, submit and contribute to "knols" or articles thereon. There are distinct differences, however.

The tools provided for creating and editing pages on knol are a bit more "user-friendly" for your average net-citizen to use, including wysiwyg tools, rather than requiring knowledge of wiki markup of any particular variety (there are various out there now), and doesn't require knowledge of any html or any other coding skills.

On thing that could, in my opinion, stand improvement, is the manner in which knol URLs are formed. At Wikipedia, you can pretty well find an article by adding that for which you search to the end of the wikipedia domain, as in, say you are searching for "cows", you know you can find relevant information at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cows . Pretty simple. Unfortunately, knol does not build article links in so simple a fashion. A search for "cows" on knol gives a long list of results, with URLs that look like this: http://knol.google.com/k/chris-kovacs/cow/2muevqpdz8cz/2# . You will notice that, after the knol.google.com domain, there is a name (in this case, Chris Kovacs), then the topic (cows), and then some garbledy-gook. All knols appear to be organized by author, first, which does have certain advantages, for the author, as the author IS important at knol, unlike wikipedia, in which authors are sometimes rather anonymous. Also, various authors may submit knols on the same topic, so there is no definitive knol on any particular topic. Also, once an author has created a knol, they have the right to manage that knol, meaning they can accept or reject contributions from other authors, as they see fit. As such, knol differs widely from Wikipedia, being more of a place for authors to showcase their knowledge, rather than a community maintained knowledge repository.

I surfed around knol a bit this morning while drinking my first few cups of Pilo (o Cafe Forte do Brasil), and particularly enjoyed this knol about chilenismos (Chilean slang), by Tomas Bradanovic.

I dug around a bit more, and was astounded to find that there was no knol about Free Software! I just couldn't believe it!
So, I rolled up my sleeves and waded into the fray, and have now become the proud author of this knol on Free Software.
It was easy!

So, dust of your knowledge and share it on Google's Knol.

Enjoy,
./tony




originally published on the baldwinsoftware.com | blog
tonybaldwin: tony baldwin (Default)


By now, of course, everyone has heard that there's been a brutal earthquake this morning in Santiago de Chile.

I found out early this morning when my mother called me, and asked if I had heard from my friend, beautiful and talented artist, Paholita, who resides in the Santiago.


art of pahola jasmina sarda castro


I immediately attempted to phone Paholita, unsuccessfully, but have since heard from both her and her daughter, and they are well.
I have other friends in Santiago, too.

I'm pleased to announce that my friend Hector Mansilla of the Fundación GnuChile is alive and well.


I'm still waiting to hear from otros amigos chilenos.
To all in Chile, we send MUCHO AMOR.
Les mando abrazos a todos, les quiero mucho.
¡VIVA CHILE, MIERDA!



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