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Orkut Profiles !

Sep 13, 2008

Google Knol

“Knol”, announced at the official Google blog, is a currently private, invitation-only knowledge sharing service (update July 2008: it’s live now at knol.google.com). Google says that a Knol is a “unit of knowledge," and in the style of the old-school About.com website, experts are invited to the service to write an introductory article on a subject of their expertise. Google wants to provide all the tools to write this, and host the content and so on, so that experts can focus just on the content. Then, ad revenues those pages generate can be shared.

Knol pages will be made available for indexing by search engines, Google announced, including appearing in Google search itself. Google’s Udi Manber says, “Our job in Search Quality will be to rank the knols appropriately when they appear in Google search results.” (It’s not 100% clear from that statement if Google will treat Knol pages as just another organic web source, or give them some kind of special onebox, or special organic result formatting.)

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.

Knols will include strong community tools. People will be able to submit comments, questions, edits, additional content, and so on. Anyone will be able to rate a knol or write a review of it. Knols will also include references and links to additional information. At the discretion of the author, a knol may include ads. If an author chooses to include ads, Google will provide the author with substantial revenue share from the proceeds of those ads.

Also, Knols can be released under a Creative Commons license. It’s good to see Google finally starting to utilize this type of licensing

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