Late Thursday, Google mentioned yet another web service (although, this one could be a big one): Google Knol (which stands for a unit of knowledge).
Basically, this is a knowledge base – where experts write up articles and users have a chance to benefit from the wisdom. The system is currently under an invitation-only status.
With huge amounts of content across the web, it's often hard to find the quality stuff. Even if you go to places like Wikipedia, it's not easy to get a sense of the accuracy. Often, I use these sources as a starting point – not something that's definitive.
As expected, Google wants knols for all topics, which is certainly ambitious and will likely encounter problems along the way. But, it's certainly a worthy goal – and, in the end, could result in a valuable property.
More importantly, Google will share revenues with the experts (through advertising). This will certainly be a big differentiator, as other wikis, such as Wikinvest and Wikipedia, rely on authors who do it for fun.
Tom Taulli is the author of various books, including The Complete M&A Handbook and The Edgar Online Guide to Decoding Financial Statements. He also operates DealProfiles.com.