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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Google Knol Beta

Knol is a Google project which aims to include user-written articles on a range of topics.

Introduction to Knol

What knols are and how they work
The Knol site has one goal: to help you share what you know

The Knol project is a site that hosts many knols — units of knowledge — written about various subjects. The authors of the knols can take credit for their writing, provide credentials, and elicit reviews and comments. Users can provide feedback, comments, and related information. So the Knol project is a platform for sharing information, with multiple cues that help you evaluate the quality and veracity of information.

Knols are indexed by the big search engines, of course. And well-written knols become popular the same as regular web pages. The Knol site allows anyone to write and manage knols through a browser on any computer.

So what subjects can I write on?

(Almost) anything you like. You pick the subject and write it the way you see fit. We don't edit knols nor do we try to enforce any particular viewpoint – your knol should be written as you want it to be written. Of course, knols are

subject to Terms of Service and Content Policy to ensure a good experience for all users and compliance with applicable laws.

What if someone else has already written an article on that subject?

No problem, you can still write your own article. In fact, the Knol project is a forum for encouraging individual voices and perspectives on topics. As mentioned, no one else can edit your knol (unless you permit it) or mandate how you write about a topic. If you do a search on a topic, you may very well see more than one knol in the search results. Of course, people are free to disagree with you, to write their own knols, to post comments and ratings.

Can I collaborate with other authors?

Of course. For each knol you can choose to write on your own or collaborate with other authors.

Can I write knols in languages other than English?

Absolutely. However, it will take us some time to localize the interface into various languages. Sorry, we cannot pre-announce when any given language will be available.

Can I search for knols on a specific subject?

Yes, you can search on Google or other search engines to find knols, like any other web pages. You can also use the Search button found on the Knol homepage and on each knol to search.

How do I get started writing my own knols?

Here are some links to knols that may be helpful to you:

Basics of Writing Knols
  • Creating and publishing a new knol
  • Entering text into a new or existing knol
  • Using the formatting bar

Managing Knols
  • Listing all of your knols
  • Managing your author profile
  • Managing versions of your knol
  • Specifying settings for your knols

Advanced Knol Techniques
  • Inserting Images
  • Creating and formatting tables
  • Creating links and references
  • Working with the HTML source
  • Changing your bio/profile

Best Practices: Writing Good Knols
  • Things to do
  • Things to avoid
  • Publishing tips for authors

Knol Bugs and Current Issues

  • Indexing and search
  • Internationalization and localization
  • Stability, reliability, latency
  • Content Features
  • Other Features

Where else can I discuss or get help on Knol?

Several authors have noticed that there is a forum at http://groups.google.com/group/knol-users/topics where people share tips and tricks about Knol. Keep in mind that this forum is user-driven and not moderated by the Knol team (although we do take a peek from time to time to look for great suggestions...)

Have other questions? You can also send us email at knolhelp@google.com.


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