Google has created a Wiki-like encyclopedia that anyone can write for. The formatting is MUCH easier than WIKI creation and apparently running Google Adsense is a possibility. The critics are labeling it a bad move for Google considering they’ve said repeatedly that they aren’t in the ‘content game’. They direct people to others content… Now the game has changed. Knol is short for “knowledge” and they say it is a “unit of knowledge.”
If you write authoritatively on some topic – try a post there and see what happens. Already 33% of knols are in the top 10 for their keywords. Google may adjust that since it’s coming under fire for ranking the knols too high.