Unlike Wikipedia, Google are insisting contributers to groups have named authors, something they hope will lend a credibility and gravitas to entries against the likes of Wiki who do not, leaving it open in the past to abuses with inaccurate information posted from time to time.
This is particularly true in the subject of politics which often sees entries ‘cyber-vandalized’ by activsts, some well known names having to employ full time staff to counter the craze.
Which makes Google’s tie up with the New Yorker magazine, and its timing, all the more unfortunate.
The deal means content providers contributing to Knol will be able to access the New Yorker’s library of cartoons to illustrate their entry.
And that presumably includes the highly controversial and widely attacked front cover form its recent issue portraying US Presidential candidate Barack Obama and his wife as terrorists.
Another marked difference between Google and Wikipedia, of course, is that Google makes money unlike Wiki which is a not for profit organization.
Either way, it is yet another addition to the web that will allow us to think less for ourselves.