From carpentry to cooking, from pediatrics to pest control – who do you choose or turn to for answers? Soon you may have a top-of-mind web site to find the best expert.
That is the same place you want to be seen as a trusted expert. Plus, when you share your expertise, you can get paid. You rake in some money – if your insights are top rated by others. And you’ll become more well-known around the world for your knowledge.
Just hop aboard the brand new google-backed plan to beat out the trailblazing Wikipedia – or be complentary. That’s a lofty goal. Yet, in true Me2We fashion, google is offering participants money and perhaps more glory than Wikipedia. Thus google may suck the crowd their way. They promise that they will “highlight authors” yet, as Mark ‘Rizzn’ Hopkins notes, it may need “a strong guiding hand” to serve the common good.
Stepping on the stones of incremental yet innovative change provided by Seth Godin’s Squidoo and Jason Calacanis’ Mahalo and the smaller Citizendium, google’s Knol (units of knowledge) will be a leap forward in the collaborative sharing of best and latest information – again free to all. A far leap from the top-down sharing of knowledge in the printed volumes of encyclopedias. Plus, as John Blossom observes, Knol may provide a more efficient way for you to compete with others to become the most respected, “subject matter expert” than, say About.com. Yet it may also represent a possible conflict of interest for google.
To set a high bar for quality, google has invited certain experts to make their best contributions in this “by invitation only” beta stage. So create a google alert for Knols so you can be among the first to share your knowledge when it opens to public participation. Get a peek preview. Unlike Rob Hof, I believe that, by this time next year, Knol could be the most widely linked to best place for finding credible answers. What a sweet spot for finding the experts with whom you may want to collaborate. Also for being discovered by the kind of partner with whom you’d want to work.
Update: On January 6th Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales strikes back with Wikia Search. Wikia focuses on community and, ostensibly, greater transparency rather than highlighting individuals’ expertise. The for-profit Wikia Search enables experts to rank, rate and filter search results.
Create a google alert (any irony there?) as a reminder to check it out and tell us what you think.