Google Knol, which we’ve likened to a monetizable Wikipedia upon launch, has quietly released three international versions today, enabling French, German and Italian speaking experts (or people who like to think they are experts) to contribute so-called ‘units of knowledge’ to the site.
Update: as commenter Francisco points out in comments, it seems there’s also a Spanish version available, but Google doesn’t talk about or link to that particular language edition anywhere. Weird. Any other languages you can find? (Bingo: Korean, Portuguese, and Arabic)
The success of Google Knol has been less than stellar (traffic is stagnating) and the site is often criticized for featuring articles that are simply not complete or downright inaccurate. To be fair, Knol has only been released for about four months, and it obviously takes much more time than that to build a repository of the world’s collective knowledge.
Expanding into other countries could give Google some more momentum and increase the numbers of expert articles significantly over time. Similar services monetizing crowdsourced content like Helium, Squidoo, WikiHow and Associated Content have yet to release international versions, so this could give Google a nice head start.