"The key principle behind Knol is authorship. Every knol will have an author (or group of authors) who put their name behind their content. It's their knol, their voice, their opinion. We expect that there will be multiple knols on the same subject, and we think that is good.
"With Knol, we are introducing a new method for authors to work together that we call "moderated collaboration." With this feature, any reader can make suggested edits to a knol which the author may then choose to accept, reject, or modify before these contributions become visible to the public. This allows authors to accept suggestions from everyone in the world while remaining in control of their content. After all, their name is associated with it!"
I do like the added feature of being able to retain control over content you connect your name to, as it pretty much eliminates people from being able to change it into something that doesn't represent you.
Those who want to attempt to monetize their "knols" will be able to do so by allowing adsense ads to be placed beside their content. Looking at some of the knols, I saw that there is a disclaimer that the author of the content doesn't necessarily endorse the ad.
For online marketers, this is of course another opportunity to place your content online in a way that points to your business, which can increase traffic to your site.
As far as Google goes, this again underscores the fact that they definitely are entering into the content business; even if it is through a backdoor way like this.
They recently made a deal with "The Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane to create an online series called "Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy," which will be a series of 50 two-minute episodes. It's set to launch in September.
Google is definitely looking at new revenue streams as their current ad model will come under pressure over the next several years as Internet advertising matures.