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which appears to be a Wikipedia-style system, allowing contributors to write articles.
Will this mean the death of Wikipedia?
A knol on a particular topic is meant to be the first thing someone who searches for this topic for the first time will want to read.
Google: Find and post information is not easy, yada yada, so let's create a resource and put ads on it
Webmasters: well, aren't your main objective used to be "to organize the world's information", and isn't the pivot point of that to have the BEST SEARCH?
Google: yes, but we HAVE the best search, but it is still hard to post good information so lets make it even harder by creating for profit informational resources
Webmasters: Great, now you can replace our websites that we've created with years of knowledge and experience with cookie-cutter paid-for ad-blasted cesspools. How wonderful!
You know what I think? I think the web is ripe for a better search engine.
This just seems to be the way things go when you have to "partner" with companies that are many many times your size. They get to set the terms and we have to struggle to keep getting a piece of the pie.
Wikipedia is free, after all.
At the discretion of the author, a knol may include ads. If an author chooses to include ads, Google will provide the author with substantial revenue share from the proceeds of those ads.
[edited by: blaze at 6:44 pm (utc) on Dec. 14, 2007]
This is an extremely well thought idea by the perfect group of people - PHDs. This is what PHDs do for a living, they write KNOLs.
References, Peer Reviews, Revenue Sharing. I suspect we'll find that this gains traction very very quickly and that Google throws its weight behind it big time.
Whether we like it or not and whether it succeeds or not they're going to run them above your site listing for a while. So who's going to take the content from their site that shows on page 3 right now & stick it in a knol for their preferred search phrases? It might not last but it could be another way to jump ahead of your competitors for a while.
In fact, if there isn't an actual problem with Wikipedia, why will a Google solution be better?
It won't be, but a Knol article on erectile dysfunction is likely to rank higher than Joe Pharma's ED e-commerce, affiliate, or made-for-AdSense page. I think that's the real issue for at least some of the people who feel threatened by Knol.
As for whether PhD types will flock to Knol, I think they might if Knol had editorial supervision and peer review. But if Knol ends up going the wild and woolly way of AdSense, with every wannabe Web entrepreneur and illiterate trying to profit from revenue-sharing, the academics are likely to shy away (and rightly so).
Basically, they’re taking the innocent Wiki platform and molesting it for financial gain. This sounds like prostitution to me.
notice on the pic how google will be putting ads there. You do the work, they get the money. I bet that if Wikipedia started to put for the founder's benefit, people would feel like losers and stop contributing.
That's the point.When you do something to help others (or show off your knowledge LOL ), you do not they make big $$$ on your work.
I would say the rapid success of Wikipedia is entirely due to its "Made For Google" qualites.
One algorithm change and it will have to stand on its own (probably copied from another site) feet.
Easy come, easy go...
Ask college students how do they search. It is so common for college students to search "? wiki". In other words, they are looking for content from wikipedia
Count me as a skeptic, for two reasons:
1) Google will be competing with significant numbers of high-traffic sites that have already built communities of contributors: e.g., Wikipedia and other wikis, "experts" sites, TripAdvisor, and so on. Granted, there may be some migration of contributors from other sites to whatever's currently new and cool, but what's to keep fickle contributors from losing interest and wandering off when something else becomes new and cool?
Google has the right to do what they think is best for it's users. Users trust Google and will use their authority and expert knowledge on various subjects to contribute original and free articles. By providing Adwords and Adsense advertising KNOL will become a much more flexible and user-oriented platform than Wikipedia.
2) Knol is a sideshow for Google (at best), and I have to wonder whether Google has the long-term commitment to make it work and keep it working. Unlike, say, Wikipedia, TripAdvisor, or Suite101.com, Google's reputation and very existence don't depend on committing the resources and energy to make the idea a success.
You should be really ashamed of yourself to undermine Google's commitment to organize the world's information. Most (if not all) Google products and services have been throughoutly thought out and are free for its users. Knol has a chance to become the only independent and reputable source of online information.
So for most of your search you will have competing wikipedia and knol articles come first.
It is going to be annoying. If Wikipedia didn't existed, I could see the point, but now..... it's possible knol will be unpopular and considered the first "evil" act of google (against wikipedia).
You should be really ashamed of yourself to undermine Google's commitment to organize the world's information.
They want a monopoly on the world's information, whatever their nice-sounding marketing language (geek style) may tell you. THEY WANT TO SELL ADVERTISING in the first place. It's all about the money.
Most (if not all) Google products and services have been throughoutly thought out and are free for its users.
Thoroughly thought out? *cough*
Free? Sure, users are not paying cash. However, people are paying with their behaviour data. They are becoming glass sheep, herded by one single source of information. People should know that they are paying with their freedom to choose (less competitors --> less options --> less freedom to choose).
Today, we are already in a situation, where Google with all its cash could enter any niche and basically block access for competitors. They'd just buy out the existing #1 and part with a bit of cash (see Youtube). Monopoly at its best. Certainly, this does not work for big companies (they couldn't buy Microsoft yet), but for most small niches, or new areas, they could just suck up the whole sector, or at least the market leader.
All this is very very dangerous IMO.
Knol has a chance to become the only independent and reputable source of online information.
I would be interested to hear what gives you this confidence? Why should Google be any better than, for example, Wikipedia?
Anyway, from a financial point of view I see ONLY Search and Adsense as money generating products for Google. ALL OTHER products have been failures so far, or are at least irrelevant.
I think, KNOL will be so spam-laden that end users will TURN AWAY from it. This thread just indicates the enormous potential for spammers. And the reality will be even worse.
One thing is for clear: Google are desperately trying to create "community products" where the users (glass sheep) are creating content for them. They certainly do not want another Adsense, where they have to pay a lot of money in order to keep a small percentage. They need another product like search where the profit margin is really high, and they got to keep the biggest chunk.
Blogger was a failure (financially), and KNOL will also be a failure.