Article posted on 23.10.2011
Announcement of Knol closure was made on 22 Nov 2011
Knol was open for public posting in July 2008. Google analytics was made available on Knol in May 2009. So Knol authors who installed analytics in May 2009 can see the performance of their knol portfolio and individual knols from June 2009.
As I observe my June 2009 page views and my current page views I realize that, there is a six fold increase in page views. The historical records of the visitors and page views are posted in Knol Page Views and Visitors - Historical Record - K.V.S.S. Narayana Rao.
What is the forecast for the future for Knol?
30X increase in visitors and page views.
What is the basis for such an estimate?
The S curve phenomenon applicable to new products. New products initially take time to get the attention of early adopters to use it. Once early adopters express their satisfaction and start informing others about the utility of the product, the market starts growing. In the case of Knol, except for the intial few days, in the social media, there is negative news. The leaders of the social chose to denounce Knol as a platform that has no place in the academic content area. Knol is an open platform without any editorial control. Also, it was operated as a passive content platform without any push from the platform managers to increase content on it. Even though, adsense was allowed on the platform, there is no real emphasis on it. Initially only one advertisement was placed in the article. Subsequently, two ads were placed. There was no effort to monetize the article further allowing other advertisement. Therefore, the platform was not at all attractive professional bloggers who are writing on various content farms for money. Knol, went for low monetization, high page view route and there is no professional writer who is into such strategy. Pure academicians and corporate professionals who wrote for the purpose knowledge sharing, have no idea of promoting online articles. They simply posted the article and left it. But online articles are ranked by their backlinks and due to the absence of backlinks, articles on Knol were not visible in search results. Social media pundits reported that knols are not appearing in search results and therefore they have no value. Despite all these factors, which acted as negative factors, Knol had 6X improvement in 2 years.
Is there Positive Sentiment for Knol now?
Knol presently has estimated 6.95 million unique visitors per month. The unique visitors number is growing steadily. There are many authors who posted 100 knols and many of them are posting new knols further. This visitors - author combination is the strength of Knol now. Also, persons who are making negative comments on Knol are showing their willingness to reevaluate Knol when they are presented fact of Knol's performance. Some started writing about the good performance of Knol in comments. So the positive sentiment for Knol is being built at the foundation level by visitors and authors. Knol Author Foundation recently released two press releases and they were received well.
The positive sentiment will help Knol in increasing its performance many fold in the coming three years.
Required Online Infrastructure Now Available
Search Engine Indexing
In the initial authors expressed their anxieties regarding indexing of their knols. Now we know that knols are getting visitors from all search engines. Still many knols may not have been indexed. But it is up to the authors now to make their knols visible to search engines through their online communications. At the basic level, many knols are indexed on all the search engines.
Social Networks Support
Support of social networks will come if knol authors participate on social networks. For authors participating on Orkut, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, Tumblr, Chime.in, Twitter there is support for their knols and visitors are coming from these networks.