Google is launching a Wikipedia competitor called Knols (or Knol—the Google Blog post pluralizes, but the screenshot shows only singular) into private beta, which will feature user-generated articles by single authors that are rated by readers. Each article is called a "knol" (which, according to Google, stands for a unit of knowledge). Currently authors can write knols by invitation only, and topics aren't limited to just one author. Instead, Knols readers will rate articles with the idea that the best, most informative articles will rise to the top.
The fact is that Wikipedia articles have reached the number one spot in tonnes of topic searches on Google, so it's no surprise that Google would want to capitalise on some of those pageviews for themselves. But with the introduction of revenue and having placed the responsibility for content directly in the hands of just one author per article, Knols is a decidedly different from Wikipedia, but the aim for Google seems obvious: to capture an authoritative place in search results for reference content that currently belongs to Wikipedia. While the general public can't currently browse Knols, we're still curious: How do you feel about Knols? Are you happy to bow down to your Google overlords, or does the Wikipedia-competitor rub you the wrong way? Competition almost always means good things for users, but let's hear your thoughts in the comments.