On 23rd November, 2011 – day before that is – Google announced it will close down Knol. A few days after its launch in 2008, I had ranted about Knol being a rip-off on Squidoo. Seth Godin – pretty much the insider at Squidoo – explains how they dealt with it.
Plagiarized products do not work, even if you throw in weight and technology behind it.
It was a website, a service, that allowed registered users to create sub-websites (if I can use that term). A sub web-site was typically on a topic you would want to show your expertise on (or initiate/provoke a debate, for that matter). One could create as many sub-website as one pleased as long as the name wasn’t taken by someone else. The service is called Squidoo started by Megan Casey and Seth Godin. Squidoo just provides the service and the content, called “lenses”, is built by users. This is the great appeal of Web 2.0 and Squidoo was almost the Holy Grail.
A couple of days back Google put “knol” on public beta. Knol, purported to represent “an unit of knowledge”, is nothing more than a plagiarised version of Squidoo. Original thinking is briefly left Gooleplex. Product Managers are having it easy. Search cyberspace for interesting services (the blogosphere generally is a great place to start) and make a shortlist of those that can be launched with minimal investment and leveraging existing assets.
When was the last time something completely original and breathtakingly interesting came from Google?
Technorati Tags: Plagiarizing features, Squidoo, Google, Knol