Friday, July 25, 2008

Knol: About.com and NOT the Wikipedia Killer


Recently Google announced the public availability of Knol, after a test run of around 7-8 months. Most of the people see it as Wikipedia killer. Though there are similarity between Knol and Wikipedia, there are noticeable difference as follows -


  • The first difference is that Knol is all about articles and not creating encyclopedia. Wikipedia is more subject/topic centered whereas Knol is more article/ author centered.
  • Author can still own the copyright of the article and decide whether s/he wants contribution from others or not. He has also few license options available to choose from. Option for selecting license is not possible with Wikipedia.
  • One major difference that I see it the option for monetization. I had written one post previously that Twitter and FriendFeed should allow monetization, so why not Wikipedia? Google approach definitely encourages sharing and collaboration by adding monetization aspect to the contribution.
  • All articles in Knol is having nofollow attribute, so there will not be an impact on the page rank of the hyperlinked page. Though the link to your blog/ website will not affect PageRank, still you may expect increase in traffic.
  • Knol puts strong emphasis on trust and they have a verification mechanisms. They recommend name verification by telephone or by credit card.
I personally feel that there are more difference than similarity in Knol and Wikipedia. They cater to two different markets and I believe there is sufficient scope for co-exist rather than killing each other.

Instead of Wikipedia, I believe that Knol has more similarities with About.com. If you don't know, About.com is a portal where you can get articles on various topics written by prominent authors. Generally all those articles are paid articles and About.com pays to the authors. Seeing Knol's article centric approach, I believe that conceptually Knol is very much similar to the About.com. I would prefer calling Knol a "Web 2.0 About.com".

About.com doesn't give reader of the article any method to contribute to the article similar to Wikipedia. Neither it does allow everybody to publish new articles in different categories. So the contribution is very much restricted in About.com. Knol.com takes the idea of About.com, fixes contribution issue and also incorporates monetization which again promotes contribution. The emphesis on contribution is what makes it "Web 2.0".

I am not saying that Knol.com is going to kill About.com. In fact, in my opinion, there is good possibility for co-existence of all three websites - Knol, Wikipedia and About.com. Though I am saying that Google has made About.com available to everybody and we will definitely see excellent knowledge base in future.

Thanks Google.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Yahoo Groups Power User Program

Yahoo recently announced Yahoo! Groups Power User Program. According to Yahoo -

"This program rewards the owners and moderators of some of our top Groups. You have dedicated a lot of time to making your group great, and now we want to give you something in return.
As a first benefit, you now have free access to 24-hour online customer care chat support. To access this service, visit our Contact Us page and look for the Chat with us live now link. "

I think it is an important and very useful step for promoting Yahoo Groups. I maintain quite a few popular yahoogroups and sometimes lack of direct support becomes a little irritating. I appreciate Yahoo for this initiative.

More details on the Yahoo Groups Power User Program can be found at - http://advision.webevents.yahoo.com/groupspoweruser/index.html. In case you want to know whether you are power user or not, check this out -

"You’ll get an email welcoming you to the program! If you didn’t get this email and you’d like to check to see if you’re in the program, click the Contact Us tab at the top of any Yahoo! Groups Help page, and look for Chat with us live now. If you see the link, Congratulations! — you’re a Power User. If you don’t see it, you’re not currently in the program"

There is also a yahoo group on this topic at http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/groupspoweruser/

Friday, July 11, 2008

WordTracker Keyword Suggestion Tool is Dead

Yesterday I noticed that Google External Keyword Suggestion Tool has started showing the actual search number in present month as well as the average that Google has with it. I wonder is there any reason for me to use free keyword suggestion tool by Wordtracker now? The quality of data with Google is certainly better and more up to the date than WordTracker. Because Google is the most used search engine, it's data make more sense to me than WordTracker or Overture.Here is the screenshots that made me happy and I hope it will make you happy too -
Check out Google External Keyword Suggestion Tool. I hope new features will not disappear like some of the stats features from Google Trends disappeared.

AdSense For FriendFeed

FriendFeed.com is soon becoming my central content publishing / sharing platform. People can know what blog posts I have made, what I am doing and my GTalk status message on my FriendFeed. FriendFeed is even have commenting option so my reader can share their thoughts as well. But there is a problem that there is no monetization option in FriendFeed. With my blog, I make good amount of money and that is the reason I promote my blog everywhere rather than my FriendFeed. I wish soon FriendFeed will also allow us to add Google AdSense code so that we can utilize and promote it more agressively. If there is a AdSense for Feed, AdSense for Mobile, so there got to be a AdSense for FriendFeed. Don't you think FriendFeed is nice but it will be even better with AdSense ;-) ?