A unit of what?

A knol, Knol says, is a “unit of knowledge”. I don’t think so. But I do think Knol is already becoming a den of spam.

My cursory research, at that link, suggests that the answer is yes. “Anemia“? No results. “Hair“? 12, including several (supposedly) by the top guy at the Beauty Network. “Cancer“? 38, so far, inncluding three in the first page of results for the biggest spam giveaway, Mesothelioma. Search for anything. Watch the results.

If this is about a fight with Wikipedia, I’d say it’s no contest. But it’s not. It’s about the corrupting influence of pure scammy ambition. Even if Google doesn’t have that, it plays host to plenty. And Knol (born on 23 July) was barely out of the womb before it got infected with it.

The only antidote, perhaps, is more knols like Bernie DeKoven‘s one on Pointless Games. That’s how I found Knol, by the way. News of its birth had escpaped me.

Bonus link.


  1. david cushman’s avatar

    Knol: Trying to answer a problem nobody had.

  2. Robert W. Anderson’s avatar

    The definition of “knol” as a “unit of knowledge” is ludicrous. Does a “knol” article contain one unit? Do these units have any standard weight / size / shape / word count? Are they comparable in any way? Are they dividable into sub-knols? Isn’t each spam-link its own knol?

    I don’t really know why, but the definition rankles (me).

  3. Arik Jones’s avatar

    I have to agree with Robert. This is rather lacking of intelligence and common sense.

  4. Don Marti’s avatar

    Google is good at search and apps, but terrible at hosting users’ original content. For a while most of my comment spam was linking to a Google-hosted page.

  5. Peter Turney’s avatar

    I recently searched on Google for Avast anti-virus software – the personal version is free. I clicked on the first link, a Google sponsored link, because it seemed to be what I was looking for. After a few minutes of looking around on the website, I discovered it was a scam. The website had nothing to do with Avast. They were trying to trick me into buying their own software, by pretending to be Avast. Why does Google allow this website to have a sponsored link? What happened to “do no evil”? How many of Google sponsored links are scams?

  6. Mike Warot’s avatar

    Amazon has a wiki as well… discovered it my accident this morning


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