Google Reference, a Wikipedia partnership?

googlepediaLast February (2005) Google offered to host Wikimedia projects on their servers, but just as quickly as that news surfaced it seemed to disappear. This "partnership" may be on the verge of getting more attention.

It"s not news that is registered to Google and just over a year ago they offered to host some of Wikimedia"s projects. This page on Wikimedia even confirms they are in talks with Google but denounces rumors that hosting might include advertisements.

My curiosity was rekindled today when I noticed Google registered and two days ago on March 6th. There are only a couple things I can guess would make sense being called "Google Reference" — one of them is an encyclopedia. What better reference is there than Wikipedia — the project Google offered to host last February?

Another possibility would be a repository strictly for manuals and reference guides. Companies that produce reference manuals could upload their information to a Google hosted repository so users can locate them easily. They could then be converted to a consistent searchable format — just like Google Video converts content to Flash.

Do you have suggestions as to what Google"s interest in these new domains might be?

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