The big difference between Wikipedia and Knol, apart from Knol's limited content at this moment, is the issue of authorship. One of the obvious failings of Wikipedia has been that we've not always been able to trust what we read. The classic example was that of the infamous Wikipedia Wars where content was changed back and forth based on several points of view.
Personally, it may not have the brains of The Encyclopaedia Britannica or the content of Wikipedia but it could be a great tool for organisations wishing to create how to's or FAQs and not bothered with the whole wiki thing. As for a Wikipedia party, I think it would look like this.