Google has decided to try to compete with Wikipedia. However, Google Knols would function quite a bit differently, it seems. Each article would only have one author (or perhaps a set group of authors), the articles would have ads on them using Google's AdSense, and the majority of the ad revenue would go to the author(s) of the article. Every article would have a user rating, and a comments/suggestion area. And Google plans on highlighting individual authors (presumably ones with high ratings), potentially making Knol authorship a well-paying job.
I must say that I'm pretty intrigued by this opportunity. Getting into something like this as it's just starting out could give someone a pretty good leg-up on the competition for ratings/revenues. Just write articles about the most searched items on the internet, and you could quickly gain notoriety (depending on how Google ranks your page).