With up to 30% of Google/Yahoo searches returning links to Wikipedia, Google sees an enormous non-adsensed space. The traffic of Wikipedia makes ad providers salivate. To combat this untapped market, Google opted to create a service called Knol, where articles can be written by experts (sometimes). Anyone can create a knol and invite others to contribute. If several people decide to write a knol on elearning, both are allowed to exist. The community can vote and rate article quality. Authors of knols can also add Google's adsense service to the site and make money in the process.
It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. Google is essentially stating that individual ownership of articles is important. How will knols be listed in Google searches? Will they receive better search returns than Wikipedia articles? A part of me would like to dislike this service (how much more of our soul must we give up to Google?). But the idea is well conceived. The service seems to function well, without the hideous editing text of mediawiki. Feedback loops are in place through comments and ratings. The opportunity for economic gain will likely also draw some participants. All those factors combine to suggest Knol has a real chance for success. Currently, the resources on the site are quite scarce, however.