24 July, 2008

Googles Latest Invention;KNOL

From blogger google has come up with a new online platform to share information called Knols, will these attract massive new users as blogs have always been?Thats left to be seen however i came to know of this new program through an interesting and exciting article on the official Google's blog entitled "Encouraging People To Contibute Knowledge "The article in part provides:

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. The challenge posed to us by Larry, Sergey and Eric was to find a way to help people share their knowledge. This is our main goal.

Earlier this week, we started inviting a selected group of people to try a new, free tool that we are calling "knol", which stands for a unit of knowledge. Our goal is to encourage people who know a particular subject to write an authoritative article about it. The tool is still in development and this is just the first phase of testing. For now, using it is by invitation only. But we wanted to share with everyone the basic premises and goals behind this project.

The key idea behind the knol project is to highlight authors. Books have authors' names right on the cover, news articles have bylines, scientific articles always have authors -- but somehow the web evolved without a strong standard to keep authors names highlighted. We believe that knowing who wrote what will significantly help users make better use of web content. At the heart, a knol is just a web page; we use the word "knol" as the name of the project and as an instance of an article interchangeably. It is well-organized, nicely presented, and has a distinct look and feel, but it is still just a web page. Google will provide easy-to-use tools for writing, editing, and so on, and it will provide free hosting of the content. Writers only need to write; we'll do the rest.

Now that is some interesting news.But what will make knol different and more useful than blogger? The article above highlights that Google's intent is to highlight authors at the same time that Google seeks to encourage the development of strong ethical standards on online writing especially using the knol project(could this be some form of censorship of content!)
I have just viewed a couple of the knols and they range on interesting topics such as:
  • How to Backpack by Ryan Moulton
  • Solutions to toilet clogging
  • Cosmetic Surgery
  • Entrepreneurship 101 etc
There are endless topics that one can write on like how to make the most efficient and classic makaa(swahili for charcoal etc) and claim that they are an expert on that field!The official Knol page has a tutorial to guide users on how to maintain objectivity and write a good Knol.The good Blogger: A Nairobian's Perspective ! - Create Postpart is that one can generate revenue with adsense on ones own knol!So here i am off to write Africa's first knol,question is on what am i an authority??? any suggestions dear readers???


  1. How is a knol different from a regular web site? Can you make daily additions as in a blog? Or is it just one free-standing page that never changes? I have read about it, but I am unclear.

  2. Ya its really a nice one.. Hoping to do some thing there...

  3. I'm curious. This mentions that the emphasis is on authors. If one has never authored a book, but can lend a credentialed voice of authority on a subject, that person can still participate in the knol project?

    Interesting. I wonder how long before google owns that, too.

  4. a while back u mentioned the possibility of a bloggers conference in kenya after the june 21st barcamp..how far along is this plan?

  5. a while back u mentioned the possibility of a bloggers conference in kenya after the june 21st barcamp..how far along is this plan?

  6. a while back u mentioned the possibility of a bloggers conference in kenya after the june 21st barcamp..how far along is this plan?

  7. hi Mash- i wish we could have a bloggercon in Nairobi soonest but at the moment we are trying to organize a Kenyan Blog Awards sometime in November and are actually looking for sponsors...so a bloggercon may have to wait !

  8. Hi Collins,
    Very interesting post. I like the concept, but how is it different from a site like ehow, about.com, ezine, etc.?

    It's nice to showcase authors and the like. Great writers often times go unrecognized.

    Thanks for this post.

  9. Thanks for the info.

    By the way I seem to have suddenly developed a google page rank of 4 after your last article. Not too bad I guess for a 5 month old blog?

    I'm wondering is it a coincidence or they actually took note?

  10. thanks Alex for dropping by, an interesting thing about KNOL is the way Google has optimized the site,hence one can get top page ranking for keywords at no cost.

  11. @alexys - Collins is right, the main advantage is that you get good ranking in Google for specific keywords (even above Wikipedia). Otherwise, and sadly, the all-thing is Adsense oriented, therefore Knol is full of articles made by MFA (Made-For-Adsense) website.

    @collins - Ah... So you made a post about Knol. Hope you enjoyed the tip !!
    Kenyan Blog Awards - Please, keep us informed.

  12. Hi Skhiko, how are you this morning, im jealous of your ranking, tommy will definately keep you informed if the blog awards will materialize!



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