On reading this morning that Google has opened Knol to everyone, I thought I should have a go. There seems to be a predominance of medical Knols right now, so my Knol redresses the balance by covering a programming topic. Here it is:
I deliberately did not look at whatever Wikipedia already has on the subject; knowing how good Wikipedia is on technical topics I am sure it is much longer and better than mine, and probably less opinionated.
Now I’m going to sit back and let the world improve my Knol.
But will anyone find my Knol? Oddly, if I try a search for Visual Basic on the Knol home page, my article doesn’t come up, although I’ve published it:
Oh well, maybe it is still being indexed.
It seems to me that the rating system is key here, and one to which I gave too little attention last time I thought about Knol. The thing is, there’s nothing to stop someone else writing an article about VB, and if it gets rated higher (sniff), my contribution will be lost at the bottom of the Knol dustbin – because I suspect Google will use the ratings heavily when ranking Knols in searches.
Other points of interest: I started creating my Knol in IE7, but gave up because of script errors and continued in FireFox. Second, I tried to verify my identity by telephone, but this only works for USA telephone numbers. It’s a beta.
Update: Danny Sullivan has a good commentary. I agree with him about credit cards. I declined.