Talk:Knol/Archive 3

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The newly added "competition" section does not contain a single citation, and really looks (and reads) like the personal two cent speculation and thoughts of the Wikipedian entering it. DuckeJ (talk) 08:57, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

You're right, I removed it. The user who added it can discuss it further here, but that section was wholly inappropriate for this article and quite frankly it's embarrassing that it sat here for two days given its content (and mea culpa in that regard, as this article is on my watchlist).--Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 09:01, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

It seems that some people think that analysing knowledge management impact of Google Knol initiative is two cent speculation , they also think that Reception section speculating about journalist advice is more accurate. Obviously they are more interested by media industry impact. Yes, there is no citation of a journalist and ... I think that Competition section rise questions about major potential impact of Knol, and should be re published jose (talk) 10:45, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

I don't know about some people. I know about my opinion. I never expressed my opinion about what is important to the article and what isn't. I'm not against adding more information to Wikipedia and I try not judge content based on "less important IMO" and "more important IMO". I do, though, try to follow the core guidelines of Wikipedia, two of which were violated here, WP:NPOV and WP:V. DuckeJ (talk) 19:31, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Authorship structure

"Writers who create a knol (“Authors”) can use the Service to create, revise, edit, and publish their content, and can also invite others to share in creating their knol in a variety of ways. Those invited by an Author to edit and revise a knol are Co-Authors, and have the same rights to edit the knol, approve moderated revisions to the knol, and extend review invitations for the knol as does the original Author." [1] WAS 4.250 (talk) 00:31, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Ad-revenue sharing

Ok, basically, if you create a new knol, then you own the knol and get all ad-revenue (if any) from it. But what happens if you allow it to be edited by the others? How is the ad-revenue distributed? -- Taku (talk) 12:38, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

First Google can change how much you get at any time unless you sign a separate contract with them. Second, Google only deals with the owner. The financial and other arrangements between the owner and any others are their business and Google will not get involved in that. So if you help an owner based on a promise or contract and they don't keep their end of the bargain, you have to sue them yourself, Google will not get involved. WAS 4.250 (talk) 13:18, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Wow, that kind of sucks. -- Taku (talk) 13:54, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Avoid self-references

Although it is kind of cool to have the sample Knol article image be the one one Wikipedia, this clearly is in conflict with the "Avoid self-references" Wikipedia policy, see Wikipedia:Avoid_self-references - Bevo (talk) 15:18, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

That's absolutely correct. The problem has been rectified. -- Taku (talk) 02:42, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Heh. That knol was mine, although it wasn't me who put it up there as the article's main illustration. It was kind of neat having it there, but I agree that the new one is probably more in line with Wikipedia policy. Aridd (talk) 15:49, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for creating the Wikipedia Knol article. - Bevo (talk) 16:37, 31 July 2008 (UTC)


For users outside of the USA knol is not very comfortable. The language is english, you have to live in the US if you want to verify your name, and so on... So the users make now their own Knol Lists. But this helps only, if you know that there are lists ;-) -- schwarze feder (talk) 14:02, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Also disallowed

Also disallowed: pedophilia, incest, bestiality, child pornography, copyright infringement, unauthorized publishing of people's private and confidential information, impersonation, unlawful purposes, promotion of dangerous and illegal activities, spamming, the transmission of malware and viruses, anything that might disrupt the service or harm the users. WAS 4.250 (talk) 00:15, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

We don't need to reiterate their entire list. Incest..bestiality, these things are synonymous with porn to most people. Also, almost all user-generated, community sites disallow publishing of confidential info, spamming, malware/viruses, and illegal stuff, so it's not really interesting. It would be interesting to mention if they did allow of those things, but they don't. So it's ho-hum. Steven Walling (talk) 00:19, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
In my opinion it directly contradicts the claim in the article that "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." Because as they begin to have many thousands of articles and face the same problems wikipedia has, they will be forced to review claims made that certain contents are not according to their policies. Imagine how many of the idiots we and commons get uploading images of their penis are going to create a coat-rack article that justifies an image of their penis? An the edit wars as different factions raise an issue with Google management claiming some content somewhere breaks the rules? By providing this information we allow the reader to understand better what they mean by "not serving as an editor". In fact, they will to the extent they need to to enforce this. So we should provide this information so the reader has a proper context for evaluating this issue for themselves. WAS 4.250 (talk) 00:43, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
That's original research really, unless you can find a source that makes your point. But anyway, I don't think it holds true. The Content Policy is about wholesale deletion of articles that are unfit for the project, not about editorial control of the content of knols that are on acceptable topics. They don't edit anybody's knols for editorial reasons. Steven Walling (talk) 01:50, 24 July 2008 (UTC)
I disagree with one point and agree with another point. "Original research" is not only allowed, but expected in choosing what sourced claims to include in Wikipedia. But you are right that "The Content Policy is about wholesale deletion of articles that are unfit for the project". Further, by having evidence about the names of the authors, they can pursue legal options as well as other options that WikiMedia is not pursuing. This discussion is an example of the original research that Wikipedia uses in selecting which sourced claims to include. It is a judgement call based on evidence and reasoning. WAS 4.250 (talk) 07:53, 24 July 2008 (UTC) You're just flat wrong. We have a strict policy called Wikipedia:No original research. Judgment in article writing is about which outside sources to use and how best to summarize what those sources have said, not writing content that develops new ideas from a synthesis of sources. Read the policies. Steven Walling (talk) 19:07, 25 July 2008 (UTC)
SW, I'm not sure those terms ARE synonymous with porn to people. Firstly, porn is not listed amongst WAS' list so I can only conclude that pornography IS coverable, just not those specific types of pornography. Secondly, pornography is specifically media that portrays sex, and sometimes with insinuations of vulgarity (compared to 'erotica' which lacks those insinuations) and those words cover issues besides media portraying them, such as issues pertaining to the subjects themselves, which you would not call pornography. Tyciol (talk) 19:22, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

(<---) You're just flat wrong. About what I said. You are right about policy, but wrong when you say I am wrong. You are mis-reading me. We agree on what policy says. You do not understand what I said. The original research is not what I propose to add to the text. The original research is part of my reasoning on why

"Also disallowed: pedophilia, incest, bestiality, child pornography, copyright infringement, unauthorized publishing of people's private and confidential information, impersonation, unlawful purposes, promotion of dangerous and illegal activities, spamming, the transmission of malware and viruses, anything that might disrupt the service or harm the users."

(sourced from their content policy page) is a useful addition to the text. WAS 4.250 (talk) 18:49, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Why is it useful? I'm pretty sure that Youtube, Myspace, Flickr and pretty much all commercial websites that have user-generated content have similar rules, and we don't mention them in those articles, either. --Conti| 19:44, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
OK, fine. I'll accept that there is a consensus to not have that sentence. WAS 4.250 (talk) 20:51, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Conflict of interest

The conflict of interest claim (that their search will bring up their own pages) is a bit rich for two reasons:

  1. The Google search pattern is an algorithm not human generated.
  2. A google search for "Knol" brings up the wikipedia article on Knol before the Knol site. Sad mouse (talk) 23:45, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
I agree completely, but it is a common criticism, and should be given coverage. Sadrice (talk) 02:56, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Terrible phrasing of the Content section

This article has managed to keep a high level of neutrality since Knols were introduced, which I see as a wonderful indication of Wikipedias ability to be a real, neutral encyclopedia, even about topics that could be considered it "rivals". This section has managed to single handedly reverse that completely. While all that's written there may be true, its made of partial truths and undue weight. The whole thing reads like one long rant, listing shortcomings. The entire section is a in violation of every rule in WP:NEU. I'd erase the whole thing. DuckeJ (talk) 19:34, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Since no-one objects, I'm erasing it. If someone wants to start from scratch, they're welcome to it. I see nothing salvageable about the wording there. DuckeJ (talk) 17:35, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

I just want to say that I basically agree with DuckeJ. The paragraph in question doesn't sound neutral nor encyclopedic. I can't even see its relevancy. It starts with stating "Knols are essentially opinion papers,". It's true (as far as I know), but there is a reason why our movie articles don't say things like "this movie is a crap, and you shouldn't watch it." regardless of the validity of the statement. In short, I'm in favor of the removal of the paragraph since I can't think of any way to rewrite it to achieve the neutrality. -- Taku (talk) 01:16, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I totally disagree. NPOV does not mean including no criticism. It means attributing a fair amount of criticism to reliable sources, which we have done. In fact, we have been more than fair with the amount we've included. Knol has been bashed ten ways from sunday by every source and blog out there. We include serious criticism from only a few. If we really wanted to write the article based on the pure source material, there would be a lot more criticism. As it is, we've been restrained, as we should be. But removing any criticism of Knol and Google (which is clearly what DuckeJ has solely been up to, if you look at his contribs), is not acceptable under any circumstances. Note that it is not controversial to call Knols opinion papers. Google recently unveiled using Knols as a forum for debate (see the Google blog). Steven Walling (talk) 01:29, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

If Google were to refer to knol as an opinion paper, then that's how it should be noted. An example of such a phrase would be like: "Recently Google has referred to knol as...." The problem is not the presence of criticism; in fact, the article has a discussion on the conflict of interest. It is just that: Wikipedia follows a certain style when it includes criticism, and the paragraph in question doesn't follow that format. Since noting Google's position on the inclusion of personal opinions is relevant, I'm going to rewrite it so that it reads more neutral. -- Taku (talk) 12:09, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I think it's important for this article in particular to be as NPOV as possible, therefore my contributions have often been to make this article NPOV, and as nearly all contributions have been by people coming to bash Knol, it has turned out that I have spent a lot of time removing misplaced criticism against Knol. This criticism too, is misplaced. Not every sentence in the article needs to portray how Knols have been received, that's what the "reception" section is about, which is lengthy as is in comparison with other articles of this nature. IMO, the "content" section should neutrally try to portray what content Knols typically have.DuckeJ (talk) 17:11, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

"Experts" -- which experts?

Regarding the fragment: "Several experts see Knol as Google's attempt to compete with Wikipedia....". The cite from the BBC's web site identifies only one person, presumably Nicholas G. Carr (I'm not sure if he's the same one). Maybe we should directly state that "Nicholar Carr, an industry commentator", sees Knol as a competitor to the Wikipedia. Rahul (talk) 20:56, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

No. What needs to be done is to improve the sourcing. You surely agree that Carr is not the only person who made this point; that is, knol as a Wikipedia competitor. -- Taku (talk) 01:16, 1 August 2008 (UTC)
The question is not whether many people think this, it is whether many *experts* think this, there's a big difference. DuckeJ (talk) 19:17, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
  • If you invent something then it stands to reason that it is either a patent or an idea. IF it is an idea then it is either valid or not valid. THe misuse of external sources to prove something valid is not in itself a truth. It does not cater for the needs of new work in new areas. I am certain that Tesla would have less than half of his work published online because some of it was so radical that no similar explanation exists with which to compare it. Yet, in the space defined by Knol, it would remain a fixed object for comparison. First ridicule and then 100 years later, admiration. I put it to you that popular votes are just that. I like the idea of radical science. It speaks volumes about mankind in general. Miroj (talk) 13:24, 1 October 2008 (UTC)


Any one please to make a free image for knol, 'll put it in the arabic wiki. Regards. --النول (talk) 10:37, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia's GFDL violation

Moved to Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous)#Google Knol to copy Wikipedia?. --Daggerstab (talk) 09:35, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Significant citation

Really significant, but I don't know if it really is a citation. It only says that google said it, doesn't say who. But it can be found in a lot of places when u search for it on google

a human-generated Wikipedia and (NYT) killer, Knols

Can be found here
JB (talk) 16:39, 17 August 2008 (UTC)

Restored that knols are opinion papers

12-Sep-2008: I had formerly noted "Knols are essentially opinion papers" and, as I suspected, that statement was soon removed as unsourced. However, I found a page where Google Knol directly uses the phrase "great forum for expressing your opinions" and so I restored the statement, while directly quoting the source:

  • Knols are essentially opinion papers, written by the contributors, rather than basing all text on published sources: [1] Google states, "Since knol authors receive attribution, knols are a great forum for expressing your opinions."[1]

The source is "Best Practices: Writing Good Knols", Google, 2008, webpage: Google-Knol-BestPractices. I emphasized the concept of "opinion papers" here, because some people might want to foster an idea that knols are fact-checked statements. No, it isn't Wikipedia with verified authors, as the difference. Knols are opinion papers. -Wikid77 (talk) 09:47, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

OK, there's a difference between something that allows expressing opinions, or even encourages it, to something that is "essentially a opinion paper". In this sense, Wikipedia allows and ecourages citations, but you wouldn't say on the first line of the description of Wikipedia that it is "essentially a list of citations", right? DuckeJ (talk) 19:21, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
  • 23-Oct-2008: Actually, in Wikipedia the focus is fact-checked statements, so describe Wikipedia as "essentially a collection of neutral, fact-checked articles, where any author opinions are removed; however, facts are also removed by those who want to censor or block information". Wikipedia only encourages author opinions to be stated on discussion/talk pages, not in articles. -Wikid77 (talk) 00:57, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
    • There is a large amount of content on Wikipedia which is verified by using articles induced by the subject onto the media. It is really a dog that bites its own tail. Miroj (talk) 12:49, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
  • 23-Oct-2008: Wikipedia reports what the sources say, and if those sources have a media-bias, perhaps even slanted by the people or groups in the report, that is a disguise that everyone must analyze, not just Wikipedia alone. Wikipedia encourages multiple, independent sources who should try to verify news claims before publishing them. However, many Wikipedia editors are very skeptical, so they will remove claims that they feel have not been proven even by the sources. Examples that Wikipedia editors would reject are "O.J. Simpson robs people at gunpoint" (no way that could happen...does anyone have better sources) or "Virginia Tech shooter was in therapy as dangerous on campus" (no way they knew the guy...that text is clever vandalism), but finally both claims were allowed in Wikipedia. So as you see, it's not just the Wikipedia policy of "source the text" but also the Wikipedia editors "challenging the sources" which keeps many articles highly accurate, in that aspect. Otherwise, the accuracy of the articles seems miraculous, but it is also rejecting some unusual facts that people question. -Wikid77 (talk) 00:57, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
I only wished to point out that marketing machines have a large role in feeding wikipedia content. The sources are usually the spin-doctors projecting their marketing material into the media. Miroj (talk) 11:14, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Brainchild versus Project leaders

It is widely known that Google accepts ideas from the public. Some in conjunction with specific promoted events and others randomly from its feedback page where a person can request that Google enter into a business agreement or simply accept feedback. Knols is an example of a project which came to Google via an external source. They adopted it, developed it and engineered it. IMHO this does not qualify Google to call it their brainchild. The team which first presented the idea to Google is based in Australia. They are not a coporation but instead a humble-thinktank from Sydney University in Australia dealing with topics on Cyber-culture. Having said that. Google is perfectly right in claiming they made the idea into a working model. That takes a lot of time and a lot of money. Specifically the whitepaper written for this project was aimed at expertise, author ownership and feedback loops. After all, there is no point in writing something people dont generally understand and then also allowing them to edit it. In that sense, preservation has its own special niche. IF squeezed hard enough I am confident that Google would explain the additional information. Sadly, Wired has muddled the notion by misunderstanding the concept vs the development.

The second element included another feature which has not yet been implemented. This feature allows a user to slide the dates within a search so that a time bracket exists to the exclusion of hits not in that time restriction. For example, this prevents old articles from confounding new articles, such as older pre-release speculation clouding newer actual data.

The third element of the whitepaper deals with a radical new way to create an information restriction in searches.

BIZDEV reference number #206202654 dated 10/10/2007 Miroj (talk) 12:43, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

This is all original research and besides th point. The Wired quote clearly says that it is his brainchild, not that he lead it. Reverting back to "Brainchild". DuckeJ (talk) 17:31, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Google already admitted in a Knol comment that they inherited the ideas from existing objects. All other contentions are secondary. So the "brainchild" comment has already been shot down by Google's own Knol team. " The idea of a knowledge repository is very general and very popular. Many similar efforts existed before Knol (Nupedia, Wikipedia, Scholorpedia, Squidoo, Citizendium, etc) and it is not so hard to think that someone would guess that Google would do something similar, " William Strathearn of the Knol team. Personally I want to go along with the people who made knol (even if there is a contention) rather than the lavish praise of Wired. Miroj (talk) 03:21, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Google has itself reverted to stating that Udi was "largely" the brainchild of Knol. That's uptown speak for "kind of". Why don't they just say that they evolved the fish so that it could walk on land rather than claiming to have created the Universe. Miroj (talk) 12:17, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Blind Faith

Anonymous edit imposed the wording of the Wired article as "brainchild". There is already a reason to consider the choice of wording. Miroj (talk) 22:21, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Its not a matter of imposing the wording; if you're quoting an article, you can't go about changing the wording, no matter how much you disagree with it. DuckeJ (talk) 17:32, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
There is a contention that something was overstated. It is not an emotive or personal thing. Even Google by its own admission have stated that they evolved the Knol concept from existing objects in Cyberspace. After 10 years of internet development there are not many people coming up with fresh ideas which have no heritage. All other claims aside. Miroj (talk) 03:20, 11 October 2008 (UTC) " The idea of a knowledge repository is very general and very popular. Many similar efforts existed before Knol (Nupedia, Wikipedia, Scholorpedia, Squidoo, Citizendium, etc) and it is not so hard to think that someone would guess that Google would do something similar, " William Strathearn of the Knol team. Miroj (talk) 03:24, 11 October 2008 (UTC)


the Knol model reminds me of more than anything else as far as models go. Is anyone talking about that comparison? Lot 49atalk 05:53, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

  1. ^ a b "Best Practices: Writing Good Knols", Google, 2008, webpage: Google-Knol: notes "Since knol authors receive attribution, "knols are a great forum for expressing your opinions."