Monday, March 2, 2009

The Knol - Share what you know
A few months ago we announced that we were testing a new product called Knol. Knols are authoritative articles about specific topics, written by people who know about those subjects. Today, we're making Knol available to everyone.

The web contains vast amounts of information, but not everything worth knowing is on the web. An enormous amount of information resides in people's heads: millions of people know useful things and billions more could benefit from that knowledge. Knol will encourage these people to contribute their knowledge online and make it accessible to everyone.
The key principle behind Knol is authorship. Every knol will have an author (or group of authors) who put their name behind their content. It's their knol, their voice, their opinion. We expect that there will be multiple knols on the same subject, and we think that is good.

With Knol, we are introducing a new method for authors to work together that we call "moderated collaboration." With this feature, any reader can make suggested edits to a knol which the author may then choose to accept, reject, or modify before these contributions become visible to the public. This allows authors to accept suggestions from everyone in the world while remaining in control of their content. After all, their name is associated with it!

Knols include strong community tools which allow for many modes of interaction between readers and authors. People can submit comments, rate, or write a review of a knol. At the discretion of the author, a knol may include ads from our AdSense program. If an author chooses to include ads, Google will provide the author with a revenue share from the proceeds of those ad placements.

We are happy to announce an agreement with the New Yorker magazine which allows any author to add one cartoon per knol from the New Yorker's extensive cartoon repository. Cartoons are an effective (and fun) way to make your point, even on the most serious topics.

Everyone knows something. See what people are writing about, then tell the world what you know:

The Knol for contest is known for simple, concise how-to content. Knol is one of the easiest and most powerful tools for sharing knowledge online. Now we've teamed up to give you the chance to write a how-to article about something you're particularly good at – and just maybe become famous (and even a little bit richer) in the process.

To enter the contest, simply click the button and begin creating your own how-to knol about whatever subject you know best.

Submissions are open through March 23rd, 2009. On May 8th we'll announce five finalists, selected by editors, who'll have their knols featured on One grand prize winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000.

If you need help or inspiration, you can browse other submissions, check out these great knols on buttermilk pancakes and backpacking, or take a look at any of the excellent content on We even created a "How-to" template to get you started.

Check back often to see all the ideas, and good luck writing your own knol. We can't wait to see what everyone comes up with.