Google’s about to launch yet another clever idea. Called knol, it will feature authoritative articles about any topic which will use community rating and input.
It will be interesting to see how this project compares to the excellent community produced content at Wikipedia, and also how Google handles the legitimate as well as scammy SEO tactics that always follow good content. Disallowing links to commercial sites would seem to inhibit an author’s ability to feature things, but allowing them opens up the chance of abuses of the type that made Wikipedia choose to use NOFOLLOW tag on all external Wikipedia links.
The good news – more quality information online – yippee!
Nick Carr over at Rough Type has one of the cleverest techno posts written in some time as he addresses the little brouhaha over enterprise vs consumer software. In fact I’d give him the tech blogging Pulitzer Prize simply for this turn of phrase:
Rubberneckers leaping gleefully onto the Techmeme pig pile
More to the point he’s talking about the silliness of the technobabbling echo chamber as well as the silliness of enterprise software folks making mostly foolish distinctions between types of software.
There is an alarming trend among mostly “old school” developers and programmers and analysts to make a variety of questionable assumptions about technology that are based on failing to recognize how different things have become. Even new school folks routinely overbuild websites and application environments simply becausae they’ve been taught that is the way you do technology. Worst is the idea that complex software is needed to run complex companies. WRONG! It is true that complex software is almost always used by big companies, but this is primarily a function of legacy issues (ie they started their systems back in the day when there were NO simple solutions) and IT turf issues (e.g pretend you are the head of Exxon’s IT division and you are asking for a BIG raise and more options. Are you more likely to get the promotion by proposing a shift to Google documents across much of the corporate enterprise, or by proposing a highly customized SAP solution only you understand? Also, it takes a kind of innovative thinking that I think is sometimes missing from the school of old timers.