Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on February 2nd, 2009

Sharing Knol-edge

brain_picture_0.jpgEvery once in a while it amazes me when I get a real letter from someone in the mail. There are now so many different ways of communicating through email, instant messaging, text, facebook, twitter, etc. that ‘snail mail’ has nearly become obsolete. I find it ironic that we can get just as excited about a letter from the postman as our great grandparents did a century ago, for entirely different reasons. With the internet, we can communicate instantly, read about news that is happening now, and even author our own information on our own expert topics without having to go through a publisher or land a book deal. Last fall, Google went public with an innovative product called Knol. Knols are “authoritative articles” about specific articles, written by people who are experts on these topics.

The web contains almost an endless supply of information, but let’s face it, it’s not all worth reading. However, there is an enormous amount of information that resides in peoples’ heads. Millions of people have knowledge in their brains that could be beneficial for billions of others. Knol encourages people to contribute their knowledge online and allow other people to access and learn.

The key principle behind Knol is authorship. the author will be able to put his/her name behind their content, their opinion, their knowledge, and their online voice. You can also work with other authors in a “moderated collaboration” that allows readers to submit edits or opinions of their own to the author(s) of the Knol. The author(s) then have the option to accept, deny, or even make the change visible to the public. Readers can also submit comments, ratings, and reviews for Knol. This is very similar to the idea behind Wikipedia, but with less encyclopedia-based perimeters than the wiki-site.

Recently Google announced that 100,000 different articles have been posted. There were also rumors circulating the web that Google’s Knol could help boost rankings on Google, but this is not true. Articles published on Knol does not provide any special benefits in the ranking for search on Google. However, Knol does have 100,000 different articles published (it took Wikipedia two years to reach a similar number of pages). The team behind Knol is working hard to keep it running like a well-oiled machine and has steadily delivered new releases to the site consistently over the last six months of its public existence. It is a great place to put some information on the web, store knowledge, and learn about something that you may need to know for that late meeting tomorrow evening that is causing you to miss American Idol for the second straight week.

Despite the mis-perception that Knol helps your SEO in Google, it is still a very helpful resource and tool for anyone who believes that learning and teaching doesn’t end with a diploma. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to add Knol to your web browser tabs and take a browse around its variety of topics next time you need a quick mental snack. Volacci believes that any way you can strive to become smarter at what you do, the better decisions you will make and the more success you will have in your business. We believe in purposeful, proactive communications that will help you make informed decisions, increase your conversion rates, and optimize your search.

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