Google Knol is live, any one can create a knol on topics they are familiar with. They announced this project in December 2007 but it is in testing at that time and is now live. Knol is something similar to Wikipedia but it is different in some aspects like moderation and multiple articles on the same topic.
Knols are basically articles on a specific topic, users can create knols using their Google accounts. Writing a knol is straight forward, you will have WYSIWYG editor to write the article. You can add links, images to the articles. A knol consists of a Title, Affiliation to disclose any conflicts of interest Summary of the article.
Although it sounds like wikipedia there are some differences, wikipedia article can be edited by any one and that is one problem with the wikipedia articles. In knol the original author will keep the credit for the article, other users can suggest edits, author then decides whether to incorporate these changes or reject them. Unlike wikipedia more people can create articles on the same topic, so hopefully the better ones will get the exposure. Users can rate the articles, comment on the articles.
Authors can decide if they want to monetize their articles, in this case Adsense will be displayed and Google will take a cut of the revenue.
Knol can become a source of information but if lot of users write on the same topic, it will create a confusion for the readers, because the reader is not sure which article has the correct information. Since the articles can be monetized people can abuse the system by creating similar articles on popular topics, giving a false rating to good articles and so on.
This project will definitely help Google to increase their adsense revenues, they are getting a ton of content to monetize with adsesne. This may not be a good news for publishers, because Google search drives lot of traffic to websites, what if Knol articles compete with other publisher articles in Google search, publishers will loose ad revenue to Google. Remember Google is No.1 in search. Wikipedia articles in most cases rank better than other sites in Google search results, now Knol may also compete for that space, i hope this is not the case but who knows.