Comments: My _Guardian_ column on Wikia's Revolt Of The Digital Sharecroppers

It's funny that this coincided with the public beta of

Knol is like Wikipedia except they've done everything that I suggested Wikipedia should do: They allow authors to be identified (to give the articles credibility), they let the authors lock articles against third-party vandalism, and the authors can get paid via AdSense ads on their articles.

This seems like it will avoid the problems that lead to Wikipedians being disgruntled. Wikipedians may labor for months in the hopes of achieving -- what, I don't know, valuable connections with the board, a job at Wikia, or just a sense of satisfaction -- but may get disillusioned when that never comes. With Knol, writers can find out very early on how much they're going to earn for each incremental piece of work, and if they decide it's worth it, they can keep going, otherwise, they can stop. There's no reason to hope for a gigantic payoff in the future, so less reason to be disillusioned.

Posted by Bennett Haselton at August 2, 2008 05:56 PM

I think Knol has the effect of giving experts a home in a way they don't have in Wikipedia, and with more publicity than Citizendium.

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at August 5, 2008 08:51 PM