Google Knol Second Thoughts
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. The goal is for knols to cover all topics, from scientific concepts, to medical information, from geographical and historical, to entertainment, from product information, to how-to-fix-it instructions. Google will not serve as an editor in any way, and will not bless any content. All editorial responsibilities and control will rest with the authors. We hope that knols will include the opinions and points of view of the authors who will put their reputation on the line. Anyone will be free to write. For many topics, there will likely be competing knols on the same subject. Competition of ideas is a good thing.With collective authoring sites like Wikipedia and individual authoring sites like Squidoo, what's the value add of Google Knol? How does the creation of Google Knol help Google pursue its mission (despite already failing at that mission) to organize the world's information? If that information already exists on sites like Wikipedia and Squidoo and on blogs and any kind of web page, for that matter, what's the real point of Google Knol? Inevitably, a new service like Google Knol will lead to more duplicate content. Does Google really think webmasters will trust Google to NOT favor its own content? Think about that in light of the first sentence in the above quote from Google.
I think Google will have second thoughts about launching Knol. They cannot be oblivious to the reactions in the blogosphere to the closed beta. I'm going to highlight three blog posts that cover the topic well. Note that all of these authors have listings on both Wikipedia and Squidoo (or SquidWho by Squidoo). Also, if you haven't already done so, read my original post about Google Knol and note the comments from a Google employee (who was kind enough to share his own opinions). Then, read these:
- Seth Godin (Wikipedia | Squidoo): Building a platform (and thinking about Google's Knol)
- Danny Sullivan (Wikipedia | Squidoo): Google Knol: Competitors Respond & Time To Limit The Aggregators?
- Michael Arrington (Wikipedia | Squidoo): A Few Thoughts On Google Knol
Tags: google knol, seth godin, squidoo, squidwho, wikipedia, danny sullivan, search engine land, michael arrington, techcrunch