Thursday, July 24, 2008

Google's Knol: The World Is A Very Depressing Place

Google launched their version of Wikipedia-Yahoo, called Knol, yesterday and it took just one visit to that site for the proverbial shit to be scared out of me.

Under the folksily titled "Plain old bag o' Knols" are contained such delightful topics as "Urinary tract infection", "lung cancer", "herpes zoster", something called "acoustic neuroma" (which I don't want to click on even though it has the word "acoustic" in it because God help us if there's an electric neuroma), "constipation" and the scariest of them all, "Toilet clogs". (Which, I hope, explains the sense of panic I so touchingly conveyed in the opening sentence.)

Here's a free sales tip to Google: why not simply hire a bunch of doctors, show them your "Top 10 medical-related search words", have them write up a bunch of Knols and suck in the rest of the 0.0001% traffic that you don't have today? (Wait. There is a Knol on Erectile Dysfunction already. But there is no Knol on Penile Enhancements. A-ha.)


Lekhni said...

If one had any of those problems, would they really be sitting around reading Google Knol?

km said...

Lekhni, don't underestimate the hypochondriac's passion and enthusiasm for research.

Lekhni said...

I guess :) Oh, and labnol tells me that unlike wikipedia, multiple authors can write posts in Knol on the same topic. So you can choose between different posts on heart attacks and toilet clogs (or why toilet clogs cause heart attacks). What fun!

Vinod Khare said...

Yes, I was wondering why Google chose to feature medical information as a way to start up knol. I think it was a very bad decision. I think they did it to illustrate the point of knol - you get to listen to 'experts'. But it was awful.

Wikipedia rocks, open content rocks, let me have my freedom!! :P

Annamari said...

I do not know if toilet clogs cause heart attacks, but they caused a few panic attacks. I know, I was there, I was panicking...

Why medical information?
Well, blame it on the economy -people do not afford to ask the doctors so there it is , Knol, your last hope for the diagnosis of the acoustic neuroma.