Sunday, December 16, 2007

GKnol.com: Artist Statement, Support Wikipedia!

Google recently announced a new project called 'knol.' This is in direct competition to the efforts at Wikipedia.com. Instead of donating money and resources to Wikipedia to improve their systems, Google has decided to make an alternative solution. I love Google, but what happened to "Do no evil"?

Therefore, I have created GKnol.com as a functional art piece that uses Google to make money from Google. You will help raise funds for Wikipedia because I will donate a portion of the proceeds back to Wikipedia. Feel free to please share this site with all of your friends.

Also, you can make GKnol.com your browser homepage and use it for all of your google searches! By default the cursor will appear in the search bar. So, when you open a web page, all you have to do is start typing.

Enjoy. =)

8 comments:

Matt said...

I'm afraid that while your heart is in the right place, you are going to be banned from AdSense for requesting / encouraging clicks. You're not really hurting Google by doing that, you're hurting the advertisers. I suggest you remove that part before big G finds out.

Jon Scott Stevens said...

I thought that was only if you encourage on the actual page that the ads appear. Either way, thanks for the comments, I've removed that part cause I would hate to be banned, no more requesting or direct encouragement. =)

LPM said...

Sorry but I can see no evil in Google creating Knol. Show me where that evil is please.

Jon Scott Stevens said...

Beyond what I already said, imagine this scenario for a second:

Right now, when I do searches in google, I often get wikipedia articles as the first few results. Imagine when Knol goes live. What bias do you think google will give towards results then? Because of the ads, it is in googles best interest to direct traffic towards itself. That is evil.

That will most likely hurt wikipedia as fewer people will use that as a resource. That power also gives google the easy ability to bias 'the truth' towards something they own and operate. That is evil.

In my opinion, I'd much rather see google dedicate its significant resources towards adding the features they want in knol (which seems to boil down to giving authors better credit) to wikipedia.

Jon Scott Stevens said...

Take a look at the Wikipedia article on Knol. I know I'm not always the best at articulating what I'm trying to say and it has a lot better description of why Knol might not be the best idea.

LPM said...

"What bias do you think google will give towards results then?"


Well, you 're guessing. And in your original post you don't mention that scenario. You conclude that Google is doing evil just from the fact that Google is creating an alternative solution to Wikipedia.



"Because of the ads, it is in googles best interest to direct traffic towards itself. That is evil."


Because of Google Ads, it is in Google's best interest to direct traffic towards webpages containing such ads. Following your thinking, Google Ads are "evil". But of course they aren't. And you must agree with me because you use them.

But even if Google favors Knol pages that is not evil, it's just dumb. The moment people suspect that, Google's credibility would fall abruptly. So, it is in Google's best interest not to do that. It would be dumb, not evil because nobody is forced to use Google -- there are plenty of search engines competing out there.


"That power also gives google the easy ability to bias 'the truth' towards something they own and operate. That is evil."

That's not true. They wrote on their blog:

"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."


"In my opinion, I'd much rather see google dedicate its significant resources towards adding the features they want in knol (which seems to boil down to giving authors better credit) to wikipedia."


I don't see how that is possible. Knol and WP are rather different, incompatible. On Knol, for example, there can be many pages on the same subject, something impossible by definition in WP.

But even if Knol was exactly like WP I don't see where the problem is. Citizendium, Scholarpedia, etc. are much more like WP than Knol will be and I don't see people criticizing them. Why do so many people see evil in everything Google invents? I think that happens because people hate big companies.


In my opinion, Knol is a great thing, a great news, like WP is. Knol will not destroy WP. Both will benefit from each other and people with access to Internet will benefit too. Wikipedia is great but has several known problems that won't be solved. Knol addresses some of those problems. And the possibility of there being several articles on the same subject, of giving authors the possibility of expressing not just facts but opinions too, of and authors earning money... all this is ingenious. Knol will just supply a need.

I see no evil in Knol. And accusing others of doing evil not knowing if they will is a kind of evil too... ;-)

Finally, feel free to correct my awkward English -- I like to learn.

LPM said...

"it has a lot better description of why Knol might not be the best idea."

What specific argument are you referring to?

Not the best idea? From which perspective -- Google's or internet users'?

In fact, WP article on Knol is a good example of a biased one.

LPM said...

Another advantage of Knol is that since each article has a unique responsible it would be more consistent. Many WP articles are a total mess because of the need to please all users, the need to reflect every possible opinion and because of the possibility of everyone edit the contents.

Plus, Knol will be more attractive to specialists because they won't need to fight for their opinions. Freedom is the key word. Everyone is free to publish what he wants, even to write on an already picked subject. Freedom is always the best answer for a problem...