Talk of Google's Knols is spreading quickly across the blogosphere. This strikes me as a venture into online publishing, kind of on par with publishing a traditional encyclopedia that has entries published by paid "experts."
I see this as a welcome development that will compete with and compliment Wikipedia rather than subvert it. As a side effect, it also may further erode usage of the kinds of reference tools that libraries purchase and provide to users.
I'm sensing that there is kind of a backlash against Google from the Wikipedia community on this one. But I say let them have a go at it. This is just another experiment in a form of online publishing that may or may not catch on.
One might worry that Google will force this stuff on their search engine users. But supposedly "editorial integrity" of search engine results is one of their guiding principles, and that would mean that if a Wikipedia article was more relevant than a Knol, it would still rise to the top.
How in the world did I get to be so pro-Google?