Thanks to MCase (loyal WillVideoforfood reader) for pointing out Knol. This is Google’s answer to Ask.com or Wikipedia, where you can write about a subject and share in advertising revenue if anybody cares to read it (and is so bored by it that they click the text ads and stop).
Here’s my knol biography, and I’ve placed a few articles and my eBook inside. I’m not asking you to go rate them 5 stars, but I would like you to remember that Nalts introduced Knol to you (2 years from now, when the term “knolling” is as pervasive as “googling”).
A Knol (see site) is an “authoritative article about a specific topic.” Anyone can write one like Wikipedia (although you can’t edit them). And readers will decide if it’s authoritative or hog wash (like how we score eBay sellers and buyers).
Knoling solves a need — we uninformed humans want vetted, credible content. Google helps us find it sometimes, but we still don’t have a scalable social network infrastructure for weeding out the accurate from the crap. And don’t talk to me about Squiddo, people. There are probably more people using Twitter right now, and the gap from early adopters to mainstream is wider than my ass has grown since I developed spondylolisthesis and a fractured sacrum… clearly caused by my day job (and not those pratfalls you make me do).
Of course there’s got to be a “what’s in it for me” for subject-matter experts to knowledge share- I wouldn’t have knoled my articles this morning just to be nice, or on the chance that these will get views more than my blog. I am chancing on some meager Google adsense revenue. Maybe it’s the next YouTube (which is non trivial) and maybe it’s the next Amazon affiliate program (which is non profitable for me anyway).
Now here’s the million dollar question. Will it Knol get us indexed better on Google? TechCrunch called this out back in December, and this move put Google further into the content business (which is like being the broker and seller in one). What cracks me up about this TechCrunch article is that it doesn’t point out a similar situation. It’s, um, called YouTube?
Knol It All (www.knolitall.com) is already squatted. Puns are the second-lowest form of humor (after sarcasm), though.