Sharing knowledge publicly

In the beginning I didn’t think Wikipedia would amount to much, so my opinion about sharing knowledge publicly may not be worth much. But I like this new approach just announced by Google, since it does several things better than Wikipedia:

  • Articles are bylined, i.e. the authors are known, which not only gives you their credentials to write on a topic but allows you to find other pieces they have written.

  • All editorial responsibilities and control will rest with the authors.

  • There will be ways for the community to contribute (comments, questions, proposed edits or additional content) while still maintaining the integrity of the original piece.

  • There can be multiple pieces on a given topic.

  • The community can rate both authors and pieces.

Those features strike me as real improvements. One other feature is that authors can elect to include targeted ads with their piece; I’m not sure that will be an improvement, but I think it is worth testing out.

(If you read the piece linked above, be sure to click on the screenshot at the end of the piece and study the prototype page they have provided.)

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