Another Great Option from Google

One day, we’re all going to work for Google. They’ll own everything.

If GMDesk wasn’t enough for you, one of their other latest endeavors is Knol, which is sort of a hybrid between a blog, Wikipedia, Facebook and About. You can become an expert on a topic (About) by writing authoritatively on a topic (blog), while moderating and incorporating input from others (Wikipedia). So you can actually have a community of people providing input on a topic (Facebook, Wiki), so it ends up being a comprehensive, multi-perspective article, like a Wikipedia page.

Of course, if the content is at the discretion of a moderator, it can be slightly different in terms of objectivity. Yet that could be the potential benefit of Knol for marketers. It’s an opportunity for branded content and branded experts (subtly, of course…no overt advertising on Knol). A person can be an expert on anything from “How to Stock a Bar for Your Summer Party” to “How to Draft a Fantasy Football Team.” Any brand can find a topic, and weave their products and messages into the fabric of the content. It can turn into single expert pushing a brand-infused idea, or a community of brand evangelists taking the content to a higher level by adding their own ideas, recipes, pictures, maps, experiences and directions. Here’s a good example of one…I don’t know whether it’s a legit consumer or a guerrilla brand page, but it has the concept. Look at the comments.

It’s unclear how Knol will takeoff, but the blend of approaches is interesting. I can see many applications, and plan to use it in my own marketing efforts. What do you think?


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