Friday, December 14, 2007

Knol could spell the end of the Web site as we know it

I've had a few more random thoughts on Knol after reading a bit of the firestorm that has emerged. I should have known...

For example, the comments about how this is not as good as the wiki model of collaborative content development. My thoughts:

  • Nothing I read in the Google press release says a thing about how Knol content will be produced. Collaborative content could very easily be produced and published directly from Google Docs. Google also has some very impressive wiki technology in its back-pocket. I can't imagine that Knol wouldn't be enabled in the Google wiki tool when it is eventually released.
  • This isn't so much about content creation as it is about content discovery. Google already owns this space. This just extends their reach.
  • This disintermediates a whole array of control-freaks, technologies, and other obsolete entities e.g. publishers and aggregators.
  • It will be accepted by authors and it will work. Who else is in this space? Exactly -- no one. It's Google's space to own.
  • This could be the end of the Web site as we know it. It's almost dead anyway, but this accelerates the trend. This is a brilliant longtail play.
If you're in the content business you had better be thinking quickly about your strategy going forward. Your reasons for existence just took a quick turn south.

3 comments:

Bud said...

Well, Kevin, aren't you and I in the content business? What should we be doing?

Kevin said...

We should publish through Knol. You think the little publisher, say like the NY Times, can compete with the likes of Google?

Bud said...

I tend to agree that you need to get your content on sites other than your own. There still remains the question of creating your own brand and identity. A web site seems the best way to do that. Even openID functions on web sites.