Talk:Knol/Archive 1

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Rachel Manber

Does anyone know about the relationship between Udi Manber and Rachel Manber, author of the sample page? Are they a married couple? -- Taku (talk) 22:21, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Google finds a few joint donations to ... -- (talk) 09:19, 15 December 2007 (UTC)


I thought the earlier opening paragraph was much clearer, simpler and more accurate (Knol is a website that features user-generated articles. It has been described as a rival to Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia.) The current opening paragraph (Knol was announced on December 13, 2007, as forthcoming service (platform) provided by Google. )seems needlessly murky, dense and convoluted. What the heck is a service platform? Seems like you could call any website a "service platform". Why is the date so important? Why say it's "forthcoming" when it actually exists today (although in beta)?--ThirdSide (talk) 22:36, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

I think the point of change is that it is not yet clear if knol is a website or not. I thought at first it's like Wikipedia but from what I have read it's more like a hosting service; like Google Video. So, the term "service" seems more appropriate. But I agree that the opening paragraph should describe what knol first then gives more context like when it was announced. -- Taku (talk) 23:07, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I reread the announcement [1] and didn't see anything in his description that would suggest that it should be described as a service rather than a website. He actually doesn't use either term, but I think it would be more logical to call a collection of webpages a "website". --ThirdSide (talk) 23:59, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

A relevant part from the post would be this:

"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. [...] The tool is still in development and this is just the first phase of testing."

So, strictly speaking, knol is a "tool" :) The problem is we are still unsure where there would be "" or something. Without a concrete url, it cannot be said to be a website, I suppose, I have seen nouns like "project", "platform", "attempt", "service" to describe knol. My choice would be a "platform". I think it's better to use some ambiguous term. The resulting unclearness wouldn't be our fault but Google's :) -- Taku (talk) 00:36, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

I'd say "planned website" would probably be the clearest phrasing and would be the easiest to change when the website is launched. Mr.Z-man 02:58, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
I disagree, and I think using the term - one not used by Google - is getting a bit ORish. Plus - more importantly - a "website" implies a coherent set of interlinked pages; even if Google has a special domain for this (, the only traffic to the home page is going to be people interested in creating kools, not readers. "Website" implies (to me) something much more akin to Wikipedia - an integrated set of pages that people go to deliberately. Nothing we've seen so far indicates that Google intends to do anything other than try to sell advertising on Wikipedia-equivalent pages that are high in search results.
Anyway, I'm offering some alternative wording; not perfect, but better, I hope. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 15:42, 15 December 2007 (UTC)


Is anybody already working on a bot that will upload all Wikipedia articles into Knol? AxelBoldt (talk) 07:57, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Way too early to think of this kind stuff, I think. -- Taku (talk) 08:23, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
And get money for all 2M articles? lol --Emijrp (talk) 10:07, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

No actually, the other way. Copy all free knolls to Wikipedia. -grin 15:35, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

i do not think the license under which google will host this tuff will allow this. the whole point is that the matterial will be protected so people will be able to access this stuff only on google and hence use google ads.--Greg.loutsenko (talk) 15:52, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Eww. Don't start. Can you imagine the multitude of GFDL violations of Wikipedia on Knol we'll get anyway? Nihiltres{t.l} 16:11, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Probably the same as from any other website around. I don't get why everybody's so against this. All it is is another place to have information, the only thing you have here is authenticated authors (probably authenticated through their adds account as they need to provide this to get money from adds). If it'll be well used then great, it'll be easier to find information for Wikipedia, and if it won't be well used, then, well, who cares? No skin off our backs. I highly doubt Google will risk their reputation to give knols unjust high ranking. Search is their cash cow and they know it. Just like Blogger pages or Youtube (both also owned by Google) don't get unjustly high ranking. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:48, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

The problem with Google crowd is it is biased on an uninformed mojority view vs. knowledgable minority. So here we come to consenses oout of respect for eachother's authority, but after 7 years around the Google world, I see a lot of one mind set thinking. Do you want to debate with them? I do not, so I would interpet their information as unsientific and just regurgiration of facts! If yopu feel such references are useful to an editor, than please follow them, but in my opinion, which I do not say very often, is that the information refered to will detract from the authority of the topic via mass confussion and mob rule! If you would like to ts my premiss, please go to any official Google help group and question their flawed policy, see what the end result will be! If Google is worng, Google is right, Do not be Evil, Cannot be Evil...How can you arguee with that..:) Igor Berger (talk) 13:00, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

This is not an answer of why you would be against knols. If I understand you correctly (and I'm not really sure I do completely) This is an answer of why you would be against searching for information with the Google search engine at all, as any web page gets higher ranking via mass confusion and mob rule. I believe that the more information on the web the better. I do not think that Wikipedia should be the only portal for human knowledge available. I think there is room for a portal in which experts can express their opinion, and I really do not see why the hostility for such a thing besides "fear of the new and different" and the belief that "anything Google does is bad for everyone". All they are doing here is trying to seduce experts to dump their knowledge to the web. (talk) 14:51, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Please read Attention_economy Igor Berger (talk) 14:57, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
This is as much an answer to what I said as Paranoia is an answer to you. (talk) 07:44, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

How To's

I think the comparison to wikipedia are excessive. Knol is for How To's which violate wikipedia's NOR. It's obvious that Knol will become a source forge for How To's. JeffBurdges (talk) 12:17, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

yeah i def agree, Knol will not compete directly with Wikipedia. i do think few people will bother writing articles like we have here. it will feel like a copy of wikipedia unless someone wants to give a specific point of view, but that is mostly confined to political topics and few history topics. i think knol will def be more like a "how to" site.

--Greg.loutsenko (talk) 15:51, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Agree! Google is going to do what Google is going tto do, and it will never be WikiPedia in authority. "How to, is best description of it!" I do not see any dedicate editors flying over there to contribute.

The only thing that maybe problomatic, if Google plays a Trump card but not using rel="nofollow" fore external links! I hope they do not even think of doing that, but with Big G, anything is possible. So we will need to resepricate, for referenced external documents not externel links. I hope the community will agre to that if that is the outcome! Igor Berger (talk) 14:14, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Actually, Knol, as shown in the Insomnia article, will be a legit source, in that it is reliable. Having a Stanford scientist write the article makes that article a reliable source, unlike Wikipedia, which is not. Another advantage is that it will have more depth, I suppose. Wikipedia will have the breadth advantage. Tparameter (talk) 15:38, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
But it is not yet known if credentials like that will be required to write articles or that articles will be required to be that comprehensive. Until they announce more details, its all speculation based on the first announcement. Mr.Z-man 19:08, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

SEO, Linkfarming, Mahalo

references in wikipedia tend to link to other wikiwords, as every article of KNOL will be indexed it is more likely that links are used to do SEO (google rank) and promote the author (googling yourself). google is content neutral, it just follows the links. wikipedia is human driven. both concepts will clash and KNOL will become likely the next spam graveyard after google base. -- (talk) 18:41, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

What's the name of the project?

This looks to me like the most definitive source so far from Google itself about the project. That page indicates to me that the initial 'k' should be lower case - ie knol, not Knol, and hence we should use the {{lowercase}} template.-- (talk) 09:36, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

If no one objects, I'll go ahead and change it throughout to knol.-- (talk) 10:24, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Actually, careful inspection of that example shows that it is capitalized when at the begining of a sentence and lowercase within a sentence (the title is lowercase as this is the standard throughout, for example look at the YouPlayer entry). So they treat it like a regular noun. I'll fix appropriately. DuckeJ (talk) 17:14, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Just for your information, this doesn't seem to be official -- somebody called Ayyub created a project on Google Code and named it as "knol". I've brought this to Google's attention -- it will be removed shortly, or replaced by Google's official page. utcursch | talk 06:06, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

So true

"The site has been seen by many as Google's attempt to compete with Wikipedia"  :) WEBURIEDOURSECRETSINTHEGARDEN 19:00, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

The Jeff Chester Quote

Does anybody understand what he's trying to say? I don't understand what new conflict of interest he is raising. What "social goals" is he referring to? It would be better to explain the concern instead of just placing it as-is in the article. The second part of the quote sounds like the previous problem that was raised, where the variety of content that will be available to people will be influenced by commercial interests. This is also the main point raised in the original article the quote was taken from, and there too they only have the quote as-is, unexplained. What I'm asking is this: What more does this quote add to the article?DuckeJ (talk) 22:22, 24 December 2007 (UTC)

Good question. I moved the quotation to the paragraph above, which was also about conflict of interest. I think the issue here is Google's stated goal of "do no evil", and its possible negative impact on Wikipedia and other content providers. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 15:36, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

How do we get to Knol?

I keep on googleing it and not a link to Knol. I just wanted to check it out. How can we get to it. Is it or something? --HPJoker (talk) 23:45, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

knol conspiracy theories

Please try to refrain from further using this forum as a soapbox for conspiracy theories of how Google wishes to social engineer the internet, destroy Wikipedia, is evil and disruptive to mankind and so forth. True or not, a terrible danger to us all or not, this is not the proper forum to publicize your views. DuckeJ (talk) 08:49, 1 January 2008 (UTC)


Currently, we have the following quote in the lead: "According to Danny Sullivan, an editor of Search Engine Land, Google told him that it is possible that the site might never launch." Is Sullivan really a reliable source on this? That's a rather bold statement, and one that (as far as I can see) is sourced to nowhere else. I think putting it in the lead may constitute undue weight. *** Crotalus *** 03:00, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

From my personal experience with Danny Sullivan, I can say his authority as an objective individual with regards to Google is questionable, and his statement is a distraction of the issue at hand. Unless Google comes out and makes the statement publicly in an official matter, there is no reason to pay attention to possible social engineering noise by Danny Sullivan or any one else by that matter. This is proof of Danny's character with relationship to social engineering. [Danny talk to Igor Berger on SEOmoz discussion board] Igor Berger (talk) 03:21, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
For some reason and I cannot understand why, this part was deleted under my last contribution, which I did not see a conflicting edit in process, os I am reiserting it to this article.
  • The more I think about this, the fishier it sounds. It sets off all of the WP:REDFLAG alarm bells. I did a search for +Knol +"may never launch", and found only the Sullivan site and a handful of other sites quoting it. No mainstream reportage. In contrast, Knol itself has been covered by numerous sources in the mainstream media (both print and electronic). How likely is it that Google, a multi-billion-dollar corporation, would provide this shocking disclaimer to Sullivan alone and no one else? It's especially worrisome because search engine optimizers like Sullivan have an adversarial relationship with Google, and perhaps a vested interest in making Google look bad. I'm removing this statement until something reliable can be found to substantiate it. *** Crotalus *** 03:08, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
reinsertion done, User:Crotalus horridus I am reiserting your claim of an atempt to remove due to WP:REDFLAG, please do not remove this, because of it may be seen as problomatic from either prospective, pro or against Knol. Thank you, And you claiming that Danny is against Google can be debated. Igor Berger (talk) 04:09, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
The Sullivan article is phrased in a way that it seems he had a personal communication with Udi Manber, and got additional information, such as that knol might not launch. All our other references got thier information on knol only from the blog post and that explains the uniqueness of the information from this source. I do not think Sullivan is a less reliable source, even if he does represent a somewhat "anti-Google" non-objective viewpoint, as that is his right. He is not confined to NPOV. I don't think I came across a single reference to this article that DID present knol in a NPOV fashion. DuckeJ (talk) 19:04, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Danny Sullivan being pro or anti Google has no relevence here. From my extensive knowledge of SEOs I can authoritatively state to you that many if not all SEOs use Link Baitting Link Baitting is a technique used to get a user to a Website having them believe a certain thing, even if the author does not believe or support what they have stated. Please be very careful looking at SEO articles for authoritative notability.
As far as Udi Manber saying what to who, it is meaningless unless he said it officially on a Google domain. Would saying she said this to me be admissible in court? IT all amounts to hearsay and innuendo. Google will do Knol, it is all about power of information control. Google alread controls 80 % of Internet information, all being passed through its gateway! I thind this a monopoly and antti trust violation, wich needs to be addressed in a different article. Igor Berger (talk) 21:03, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

"cannot be edited by others. "

That may be true, but the screenshot shows an edit tab, as well as a revision tab, implying it is running on some sort of Wiki software. Is it definitely true that others cannot edit the articles? (talk) 15:34, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

According to Google, yes - the edit tab will be because the user who created it is currently logged in, and each user will (I guess) be able to edit their own article. All speculation, of course... Alex.muller (talk) 15:37, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
In one article on Knol ( ), there's the sentence, "Authors also have the ability to disallow other users from modifying the entries." That makes it sound like authors may be able to allow others to edit their articles. -- EDarwin (talk) 19:42, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Nice. I tried to add this earlier on Jimbo's talk page via an anon. and it was deleted quickly.
Deleted by which user? LOL! -- (talk) 17:16, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

The site looks very promising and appears well thought out and has a massively large capital base for exploiting a social/encyclopedia! The idea of using Google adwords and adspace is a winner. Millions of writers will take their original work and get there in a hurry. Thanks for putting this article up Like a Rainbow (talk) 21:40, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Good to see the strong Wikipedia bias in this article, as expected. For too long Wikipedia has been ruled by power crazy admins; I'm glad to see an alternative. I hope this will become the death "knol" for the bloated and bureaucratic mess that Wikipedia has become. (talk) 01:50, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

If I was power crazy, wouldn't I have blocked you for saying that? Please try to stay on topic. This page if for discussion of the article, not the concept. Mr.Z-man 01:53, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Bringing up blocking me for expressing my opinion confirms my point: Wikipedia admins are power crazy. Furthermore, I was discussing the state of the article. It most clearly does not have a NPOV (strong bias towards Wikipedia), and I was addressing that fact. (talk) 02:05, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. Wikipedia is out of control. Knol is a great threat to the control freaks of Wikipedia. Thank you Google! :) -- (talk) 17:17, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

But we need to know in what way the article is biased to address the problems. I mean, it's inevitable that the article discusses how knol differes from wikipedia since it has been touted as a wikipedia competitor. -- Taku (talk) 02:11, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

"They are not going to allow collaboration and aren’t going to go for Wikipedia’s neutral style" is pretty funny considering how non neutral this article is. The article is biased because there are THREE separate quotes from Wikipedia founders that make up the bulk of the entry. Where are the quotes from Google that describe knol in their own words? (talk) 02:26, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
The opening paragraph and 3rd paragraph contain quotes from Google. Since very little is known about knol, we cannot expand on how it works, etc. For example, nothing is known on licensing terms. Also, since Knol has been compared to Wikipedia, quotes from key people involving in Wikipedia are quite relevant; they are not some bloggers. Finally, if you can think of a way to improve the neutrality, just go ahead and edit the article. Like me, non-admins can still edit the article, you know. -- Taku (talk) 02:32, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Suggestions to improve the article are more than welcome, calling Wikipedia admins "power crazy" and predicting Wikipedia's death isn't exactly constructive (and is hardly neutral). Mr.Z-man 02:56, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
It's a good point however, this focuses unduly on Wikipedia and the quote from Larry Sanger is just needless. Debating about whether a future site will be neutral based on limited information and including with that a quote lambasting it, before it's even off the ground is certainly no in the spirit of neutrality.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 04:22, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
This unduly heavy focus on wikipedia seems inevitable to me. Almost every newspaper headline contains the name Wikipedia. I agree that Sanger sounds a bit harsh given that really little is known about the site. But that's just his take, and to me his comment seems more authentic or relevant than blogger's like Carr's. -- Taku (talk) 04:34, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Don't worry about it, I put in some mentions about I removed the first sentence from Sanger since I felt that was not needed. However, I left his criticism of its setup, since that's at least legitimate. His opinion on whether non-existent articles will be good or not is really not needed, especially considering he's not going to be completely unbiased in saying that.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 05:23, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

How about we just place all the data on comparison to wikipedia in a separate section?DuckeJ (talk) 12:41, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

I doubt Knol will make WIkiPedia absolete, show me one product that Google has domination in besides the serach engine! None! Google uses a new platform to push their Adsense revenue model, and once they see negative ROI they just abandon it, like an old forum. Good luck Google. Finally, do you think free unbiased thinkers will go debate with I want to be popular? Waste of time! Igor Berger (talk) 10:46, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Will it not be more similar to the failed Nupedia project? --09:40, 18 December 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Why should wikipedia allow knol to thrive inside it ?

I was very much wondering why is the knol article still existing in wikipedia. Personally I look upto wikipedia as a place where knowledge is more important than commercial intentions. Hence since knol is using wikipedia as a platform for its advertisement I would rather not like to view knol article inside wikipedia. Please comment about your suggestions on this.


Well Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. If Knol meets the notability criteria then it should have an article. It clearly meets notability criteria. Wikipedia will be far more hurt by censoring rivals than by linking to them. JASpencer (talk) 10:02, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

It would be helpful if you could elaborate on what notability criteria does knol satisfy itself to be in wikipedia.And regarding your second point ,"knol is a rival" if wikipedia clearly acknowledges that fact. And also even if wikipedia or knol think so, the ground rules on which an article (must/must not) exist inside wikipedia should not change by such mere fears about competition. Would be glad to hear more from you regarding this. Vikasap (talk) —Preceding comment was added at 10:15, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Vikasap, I agre with your resoning, Google should go some place else promoting and advertising their product Knol. Why we are ven talking about it. This is WikiPedia we do not have to defend ourself...Knol works does not work, who cares! If any WikiPedian want to go edit there, Good Bye! Igor Berger (talk) 13:51, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Pfft. Wikipedia relies on Googles search. -- (talk) 17:24, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

Firstly, knol lives up to the notibility criteria presented in WP:NOTE, which states that "A topic is presumed to be notable if it has received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject." A quick look at the references part of this article shows that knol have undoubtly received significant coverage, in reliable sources. So as far as notibility is concerned, this is not even a question. Secondly, Wikipedia should not choose to ignore a subject and not display a page about it because one, two, or indeed even if all its authors do not like that subject. There are articles on all subjects, positive and negative, and not having an article on a subject does not make that subject weeker, it makes Wikipeida weeker. Think of the press you will get if we decide to officially not have an article on Google knol. Such a suicidal step will only ruin our reputation, only further advertise Google knol and only convince people that another alternative to Wikipeida is needed as Wikipedia has decided to start censoring articles for business reasons. Thirdly, as for commercial intentions and a platform for advertising, there are Wikipedia articles on many businesses, brands, commercial software, web applications and online reference websites besides Googles knol. This topic should not receive any different status. Lastly, as is stated in the aricle, the official response the Wikimedia Foundation gave to Google knol is to welcome it: the more free online content the better for everyone. It will only make it that much easier to find online references and have better articles. You will have several knols about a topic and one definitive Wikipedia article that summerizes them all into a coherent, well balanced and referenced article. Don't be so scared of change! DuckeJ (talk) 14:26, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks DuckeJ for the clarity provided. Your reasoning indeed settles into me. I must agree to the notability, that Knol has got. The google guys have all the power in the world to make that count. Well yes I have to agree to you that considering knol as any other notable product, wikipedia must have the free will to write about it. We should just hope to continue keeping the place clean by not letting it go commercial. Thanks again for the clarity provided. Vikasap (talk)


This article is quickly slipping away from a neutral point of view due to undue weight of negative Knol reviews. Currently, almost half the article consisits of quotes presented in whole from people with negative forcasts concerning Knol. I don't understand the relevance of any bloggers two cent forcast on what will be the outcome for the web in general as a result of the Google Knol launch. There are two separate paragraphs with quotes from Jimmy Wales put in full: "They are not going to allow collaboration and aren’t going to go for Wikipedia’s neutral style" and "You may see an awful lot of articles about Viagra". Do these two quotes add any value to the article, helping someone better understand what a Knol is? Or are they only there to reflect the authors PoV?DuckeJ (talk) 18:03, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. The last quote is juvenile and adds absolutely nothing to the entry. (talk) 19:50, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I concur. There is excessive space devoted to WP personnel's reaction to Knol, which really only rates a sentence or two in the article. Truthfully, this should be news, not WP. It way too soon to be able to give this encyclopedic treatment. Xymmax (talk) 20:44, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

""You may see an awful lot of articles about Viagra" So now Wikipedia includes Jimbo's OR. LOL -- (talk) 17:14, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

As the founder of what most people are considering Knol's biggest competition, how is his opinion not relevant? It was not being presented as fact but as a quote of a person's opinion so WP:NOR does not apply. Mr.Z-man 03:20, 9 January 2008 (UTC)