Friday, December 14, 2007

Google Knol as a content wad?

Last week I asked the question, "Is anyone just putting up searchable, but non-browsable wads of content? Considering this as a potential strategy?" Well, it looks like Google themselves is getting ready to do this: Encouraging people to contribute knowledge:

The web contains an enormous amount of information, and Google has helped to make that information more easily accessible by providing pretty good search facilities. But not everything is written nor is everything well organized to make it easily discoverable. There are millions of people who possess useful knowledge that they would love to share, and there are billions of people who can benefit from it. We believe that many do not share that knowledge today simply because it is not easy enough to do that...

Once testing is completed, participation in knols will be completely open, and we cannot expect that all of them will be of high quality. Our job in Search Quality will be to rank the knols appropriately when they appear in Google search results. We are quite experienced with ranking web pages, and we feel confident that we will be up to the challenge. We are very excited by the potential to substantially increase the dissemination of knowledge.

We do not want to build a walled garden of content; we want to disseminate it as widely as possible. Google will not ask for any exclusivity on any of this content and will make that content available to any other search engine.

I'm thinking this is an incredibly good idea. Wish I'd thought of it myself. Let's just hope they get the intellectual property piece correct. If they handle it something like Flickr has with photos then they've got a winner.


Anonymous said...

Read for an interesting response to it

Steve Judd said...

I have mixed feelings about the knol concept, but think it may prove attractive to Extension folks. Think of each Extension factsheet being a knol. They'd be easy to update, highly searchable, and still provide "reputation marketing." I think most Extension folks would be more likely to embrace a knol, rather than contribute to a Wikipedia article. There's also no reason the knols couldn't be the product of collaboration such as eXtension CsOP. It'll be interesting to see where this all goes...perhaps nowhere.