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David Wisehart
07-26-2008, 03:12 AM
Google has just launched Knol, which has been described as a competitor to Wikipedia.

But unlike Wikipedia, Google is encouraging people to create knols (site entries) to promote their own products and services.

What do you think is the potential for promoting books with Knol?

I've created two knols to promote my own books.

One is for a POD book, Valentino: a play in verse (http://knol.google.com/k/david-wisehart/valentino-a-play-in-verse/33mpj3qvhycam/6#).

The other is for a completed but unpublished novel, Devil's Lair (http://knol.google.com/k/david-wisehart/devils-lair/33mpj3qvhycam/7#).

It seems to me that every author with a book to promote should create a knol for their book.

What do you think?

ResearchGuy
07-26-2008, 07:16 PM
. . .
It seems to me that every author with a book to promote should create a knol for their book.

What do you think?
Maybe so, but how will anyone know that it is there? How do those things reach a book-buying audience?

--Ken

flashgordon
07-26-2008, 08:41 PM
I don't think knol will be able to compete with Wikipedia. People already use wikis all over the web to promote products, so I guess knol is another resource. Will it make a difference in terms of sales? Hard to say.

Squidoo and Hubpages are two other types of sites that are similar to knol - they were really hot about 6 months ago and have been fading off slowly.

David Wisehart
07-27-2008, 01:05 AM
Maybe so, but how will anyone know that it is there? How do those things reach a book-buying audience?

--Ken

Knols are hosted by Google, and will probably do well in Google searches.

When I google "Valentino: a play in verse," the knol comes up #2 on the list, just behind the Lulu.com page where you can buy my book.

The knol, posted yesterday, is listed ahead of my blog for the book and my website pages devoted to the book, both of which have been online for more than a year.

However, the knol for "Devil's Lair," a term which has more competition in Google, is buried pretty deep in the SERPs (currently #118), well behind my website and blog for that book.

So, based on this bit of anecdotal evidence, it seems that writing a knol might get you higher search engine placement for your book title than creating your own website or blog for the book.

In any case, it's simple to use, and one more way to get some online visibility.

Of course, Knol just launched a few days ago, so the ultimate impact will take years to measure.

But I wouldn't bet against Google.

veinglory
07-27-2008, 02:08 AM
"Be not the first by whom the new are tried, Nor yet the last to lay the old aside." Alexander Pope :)

Enzo
08-03-2008, 07:59 AM
Interesting stuff.
I was just researching Squidoo this morning, trying to find out what the difference is between it and an ordinary blog (yes, I am a few years behind in web savviness). But this Knol thing sounds like it might be worth it.
PS Too bad about its name, which is a Dutch word for an ugly old horse.

Jackfishwoman
08-04-2008, 10:13 PM
PS Too bad about its name, which is a Dutch word for an ugly old horse.

That's funny!

Jackfishwoman
08-04-2008, 10:38 PM
okay, I just composed a little Knol for my book.... that was very simple.
Thank you David!

veinglory
08-05-2008, 12:49 AM
I looked very breifly at Knol. They don't seem to even try to separate content from advertising. As a reader I doubt I will go back. I get enough spam as it is. Would wikipedia be wikipedia if ever contributor could insert their own advertising links?

ColoradoGuy
08-05-2008, 01:08 AM
No one's quite sure what will happen with Knol. Google launched it by enlisting a bunch of experts to write articles on topics for which they were experts--I was one of that group and I wrote two knols for them (croup (http://knol.google.com/k/christopher-johnson/croup/WcIrsQho/oy8sug#) and conjunctivitis (http://knol.google.com/k/christopher-johnson/conjunctivitis/uFw_lGjfk/2s8i8r#)).

I think they really don't intend it as a place to plug your book unless you are an authority about something the book is about--they encouraged links back to your website. Of course once the genii is out of the bottle, folks should be free to do whatever they wish with Knols.

They also allowed each author to decide if he/she wanted advertising--I chose not.

PinkUnicorn
08-28-2008, 10:50 AM
Interesting stuff.
I was just researching Squidoo this morning, trying to find out what the difference is between it and an ordinary blog

Squidoo is not a blog host. Here's a couple of articles I wrote about Squidoo and what it is:

Why I Like Squidoo or What Squidoo Means To Me (http://www.squidoo.com/SquidooWhatIs)

What Can You Do With Squidoo? (http://www.squidoo.com/What-can-you-do-with-squidoo)

EelKat's Secrets To Squidoo Success (http://www.squidoo.com/EelKatSquidooSecrets)

I hope that helps.

ResearchGuy
08-28-2008, 07:53 PM
. . .
So, based on this bit of anecdotal evidence, it seems that writing a knol might get you higher search engine placement for your book title than creating your own website or blog for the book. . . .
Ok, but how/why do people know/want to search for that book title in the first place? Seems to be a cart vs. horse issue.

--Ken

benbradley
08-28-2008, 08:51 PM
I looked very breifly at Knol. They don't seem to even try to separate content from advertising. As a reader I doubt I will go back. I get enough spam as it is. Would wikipedia be wikipedia if ever contributor could insert their own advertising links?
The thing about Wikipedia is there have been many instances where those with personal intrests in an article's content have edited it to reflect more highly on their interests (such as company executives changing a critical article about the company to be less critical). I don't know how prevalent that is, as it's hidden (though those who edit without registering have their IP addresses shown publically, and those who register have their IP addresses available to those who run Wikipedia. These things can be found out and corrected, but they must be identified as having having been edited by those with vested interests).

I don't think I like this commercialism aspect about Knol either, but at least it puts the article writer's bias out in the open (for the most part).

And while we're at it (and going slightly off-topic), I've heard how "content-embedded advertising" as in product placememt has been becoming more popular in movies and especially in TV, where so many people are TIVO-ing past commercials. This is mainly just annoying with sitcoms and other entertainment-only programs, but it can certainly cast a shadow on the <what's the word I'm looking for, independence from influence> of documentaries.

But it surely gives a different perspective. Presuming it eventually has content that approaches the breadth and depth of Wikipedia, I'll be looking up articles in both (as well as whatever else I find on the Web, and even those old-fashioned dead trees).

Ok, but how/why do people know/want to search for that book title in the first place? Seems to be a cart vs. horse issue.

--Ken
I suppose that's how bootstrap became a verb (to beat these chicken-and-egg problems). Knol is clearly hoping to advertise enough and to get enough "good, reliable" content that many people will look things up in it in addition to or instead of Wikipedia. And when they find an article on a topic of interest, they will see that the article author also wrote a book on the topic, and may be interested enough to buy the book.

veinglory
08-28-2008, 09:13 PM
It is also true that wikipedia users change that material back and they are encouraged to make articles as neutral as possible -- with Knol people are being explicitly told that they can insert their own adsense links and other profit making mechanims. I see it as innately different and far less useful. In fact I doubt I will ever go there again.

wrtrguy2k8
09-15-2008, 01:16 AM
Google set up Knol specifically to encourage authors to contribute their expertise.

It's true anyone can claim to be an expert and make a Knol (just like anywhere else), but that's the intention.

As others have mentioned, anecdotal evidence suggests that Knol may perform pretty well in searches. We'll see...

(Plus, it all depends on keywords. But that's an entirely different story.)