Sunday, 3 August 2008

Knol isn't knowledge

Google, in their oh so friendly mission to take over the internet (and then... the World hahahahhaha) have released "knol.google.com", an attempt to compete with Wikipedia. The articles are written by one named author, and it's not a free for all in terms of contribution.

Also, it's remarkably dull. Here's the entry on "Heartnuts"

"What is a Heartnut?

Heartnuts are a cultivar of the Japanese walnut. They open into two flat heart-shaped halves, like a locket. Heartnuts thrive in the cool northern climates, so you will most likely find heartnuts growing in northern states, Canada and Europe.

Nuts are currently on the diet culture list of good-for-you foods and heartnuts have been shown to be a healthy nut [1]— high in fiber, antioxidants, and protein. The taste is sweet, mild and pleasing. A wonderful nut for cooking and baking, it is especially flavorful toasted."

Fascinating.

The author is described thusly (?)...

"She first saw heartnuts at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in the produce awards area. It was love at first sight! She planted her own seedlings and grafts, located nurseries in the U.S. and Canada that sold nuts as well as tree stock, and has been crafting and cooking with them ever since."

It's a shame we don't know when this was. Last week? 40 years ago? I'm (not) wondering exactly how much you can do with this nut, which, I learn, when toasted has, "a flavor I can only describe as incredible."

Oh, can you Susan? And here, I believe, is the rub.

While we may need our knowledge of heartnuts and 3D fitness expanding through the medium of Google, whatever is wrong with Wikipedia, unlike Knol it doesn't read like second rate lifestyle magazine opinion. Because Google, in huge error, have in replacing multi-authorship with named single authorship, created a huge waste of space. A ton of not "authoritative articles", but gooey personal opinion free of moderating peer review.

Even better, many of the authors are directly connected to industry - so "geneology" is written by some git who runs a family tree website. I read with trepidation hoping that he would actually be so crass as to recommend using his own fucking site, and of course he did! What a nob.
Google, now a huge corporation, look like a bunch of dimwit mugs for creating such a stinking pile of cheap ass corporate amateurism.

So to "the internet" in general, stop worshipping at the altar of Google, they are not infallible, they got here by luck, maintained market position with an ad system that frankly does its best to ruin user experience, and now even though knowledge is apparently their stock in trade they are actively trying to ruin that too.

Knol, a unit of knowledge?

2 comments:

Susan said...

Wow, sour grapes. So discoriggall, what are you interested in. I might want to read your experience/research in your areas of expertise. --Susan

Susan said...

Wow, sour grapes. So discoriggall, what are you interested in. I might want to read your experience/research in your areas of expertise. --Susan