Sunday, March 11, 2012

Goal of Knol: Knol Authors 100,000 - Knols 1 million - Top 100 Website

A recent version on the theme is made: Goal of Knol - Year July 2010 - July 2011

Where Are We?                                                                                           

On 20th June 2009
Presently knol authors could be 10,000 in number.
Knols could be 200,000.
Quantcast says knol is a top 10,000 site.
The last official announcement was that 100,000 knols were published. In the six month period that followed another 100,000 could have been produced (Statement in the first version of the knol).
Further updates
I saw in the comment by knol help to a knol that by 2 March 2009, there were 125,000 knols. Now I feel more confident that  my estimate that there will be 200,000 knols (by 22 July 2009) will be correct.
Peter Baskerville in a comment in the knol help bulletin board stated that knol has amassed 230,000 knols (15th July 2009). Therefore the estimate of 200,000 knols was already achieved. This information gives us more confidence about our further future estimates.
Weekly page views of top 200 authors 735,000
Visit Knol Progess - Weekly Bulletin for recent information
The search [] returned 592,000 results. This can be a reasonable estimate for the number of knols on the Knol platform on 5.6.2011.
The search {} returned 772,000 results

What Should Be Our Goal?                                                                         

By July 2010
Knol authors: 100,000
Knols: 1,000,000
Knol pageviews: Average 1 million per day.
Visitors: Maximum 1 million per day
22 million unique visitors per month gives a rank of 185 in terms of unique visitors in Google's ad planner.
New Goal
By July 2012
Knol pageviews: Average 600,000 per day.
Visitors: Maximum 600,000  per day
How Can We Reach Our Goals? Suggestions from Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D.
1. Get specific
2. Seize the moment to act. Now there is sufficient top content on Knol. Promote it.
3. Know exactly how you have left to. Follow Quantcast. We need to double US visitors numbers in Quantcast stats.
4.Be a realistic optimist. The initiative requires effort, Moment is there. Opportunity is there. Effort is required. Challenges are there. Creative ways are required every month, every week, every day.
5. Have Grit: Persist in the face of difficulty.
6. Do you have strong will power muscle?
7. Focus on what you will do.
The goal of 600,000 page views per day by July 2012 should be attempted by sharing links of all knols on Google+.

Target Time For The Goal                                                                           

Second year of full scale operation.
Knol will complete first year of full operation in July 2009. The target of 1 million knols is for July 2010.

Is It Feasible?                                                                                                

Yes, If Squidoo has done it in 3 years and odd, Google can do in 2 years. See HubPages, Knol, Squidoo, Wikipedia and Other Article Sites - Comparison.
Knol Metrics authors say more emphatically that there are 240,000 knols. Around 140,000 knols were written six months. Assuming 180 days in these six month, 800 knols per day were written by knol authors. If authors who joined at different time points could write 240,000 knols in one year, how many knols they can write in full year? My estimate is that they will write 375,000 knols. One is already witnessing a trend, that some of the authors who wrote in earlier days are becoming active now. This large number of authors are going to join compared to last year. If last year around 25,000 authors have joined, this year my estimate is that 75,000 more authors are going join. Very difficult, no. If subscribers to twitter can go up from one million to 23 million in one year, how can one say 75,000 authors will not register in a year. Now authors are able to see statistics for their articles in existence. Some of them are getting very good page views. I came across an author who is getting more than 50,000 page views a week. Some more authors may show similar performance. In the month of September 2009, page views increased for many authors. For my knol portfolio, the peak page for week are 24,200. This is a very satisfying number and adsense revenues are going up along with this page view increase. Authors need not complain about the platform anymore. The performance of their knol portfolio depends upon the number of articles they have written, the amount and quality of content that they have posted and the promotion that they have done for their article ( for Article Marketing, Reading and Appreciating).
Some of the authors are making some money however small it is. Somebody $15 every month, some body $15 once in three months and may be somebody in $15 in six months. But it started. Remember, 100,000 page views may give $100. Hence an author with 50,000 page views per week can make $200 a month.  Many knols are appearing in google search results. There is excitement and authors are going join. Actually, I am underestimating when I say that 75,000 new authors write 375,000 knols. There can be a positive surprise and the new authors may write many more.

What Needs To Be Done?                                                                          

There was tremendous adverse publicity against knol. Even now it is continuing but in a muted way.  Many potential authors must have dropped plans to write on the platform due to the adverse publicity. But the team which is managing knol has shown restraint and went about the job of building knol in a very polite and calm manner. They achieved the minimum required author base and knol base. A public applause for their start-up effort should motivate them to take an aggressive stance and declare aggressive targets and create confidence in many that knol platform is here to stay with strategy to be the Number one wiki based article website.
There are many niches in the knowledge area that knol can play a pioneering role and there are many segments of people who have the knowledge to share that knol can attract to the platform.
Kaizen Budgeting
There are estimates that say Knol will have 250,000 articles by the time it ends its first  year. This makes achievement one million knols more feasible. But a kaizen budget that gives weekly target for knols is to be prepared and each week knol needs to run a promotion in one of the countries for increasing authors, knols and visitors. It can tie up with at least one higher educational institute in each country for encouraging their faculty to write knols and for encouraging their students to use knol. Such weekly promotions will bring in more and more authors and visitors to the knol platform and provide continuous encouragement to existing authors.


Knol is content platform and not a content farm.
There are no plans and targets for Knol which are publicly announced by Google management. Only Knol authors can come out with plans and marketing campaigns for their knols as well as for Knol.

Knol - SWOT Analysis                                                                              

  • Started by Google Which is a savvy player in Website business domain.
  • Technical competence of Google in software as well as in efficienty using hardware to deliver exceptional service to website visitors.
  • Knol has positioned itself a knowledge site committed to promote online learning (It has not given undue importance to advertising).
  • Late entry into the market with a well established market leader.
  • No special technology innovation in the platform.
  • Low key entry.
  • Lack of a visible "knowledge expert team" that is guiding the roll out.
  • Revenue model for authors (First year nobody made any significant revenue).
  • Many institutes have not provided publishing opportunity to their faculty.
  • Ph.d theses can be published on knol.
  • School/College/Institute/Alumni Magazines can have knol versions.
  • Management Development Course Modules can be hosted on knol.
  • While negative publicity has subsided it may resurface as competitors feel if they cannot attack now, there is no chance in the future.

How Many Knols Were Written So Far?                                                

Knol help has given the following suggestion to estimate the knols written so far.

How many knols have been published?

We don't provide an official number, but there are two easy ways you can estimate the number.
  1. Look at the number of search results that returns for the search []
  2. Look at the number of search results that the Search Toolkit returns for a common word in a language of interest. For example, search for [a].
Using either technique, you can estimate the number of published knols in a particular language by restricting the search to a particular language.
I searched using google search and the dates 6/1/2008 to 10/13/2009 and the search returned 606,000 entries.
For English language only, it returned 314,000 entries. For Arabic language it returned 85,000 entries. For French it returned 38,400 entries.For Spanish, it returned 39,100.For German, it returned 23,300. For Korean, it returned only 871 entries.For Chinese simplified 536 entries were shown. For Chinese Traditional, 99 knols were shown. For Italian, it showed 25,600 entries. For Russian, it showed only 480 knols. Japanese knols were only 484. For Greek, it showed only 244 knols. For Dutch, it showed only 309 knols. No Indian language were shown in the Google search options.
At this moment, it is difficult for me to interpret these figures.
Today the search for number of knols returned 345,000 knols for the last one year. Yesterday, under any time option it had shown 405,000. We can take it that there are around 400,000 knols on the platform today. Will they become 1,000,000 by end July 2010.

5.6.2011 - Number of Knols

The search link in Top Knols - 2008 to Current Day - All Categories Combined    shows that there are 400,000 English knols now on Knol. How many are there in other languages? Will they be another 400,000? We do not know. We need estimates from authors of other languages.

The search [] returned 592,000 results. This can be a reasonable estimate for the number of knols on the Knol platform on 5.6.2011. We are going to complete 3 years of public operations in July 2011 and a total of 600,000 knols would be posted by that time.
The language break up gives these figures:
English  479,000
Arabic 60,200
Spanish 17,000
Italian 14,000
French 12,000
German 10,500
Korean 9,320
Hindi 6,630
Portuguese  5,630
Russia, 5,400
Japanese 4,360
Dutch 1,320
Hebrew 927

The search link in Top Knols - 2008 to Current Day - All Categories Combined    shows that there are 488,671 English knols now on Knol.

Visit Knol Progess - Weekly Bulletin for recent information 

Knol Author Team - Role and Responsibility                                        

Knol author team is not a monolithic group. It is more like athletes in an olympic village. All embody the olympic spirit. But they represent different events and countries. So there are subgroups across events and countries.
Knol author subgroups are much more diverse. Country, Language, Subject, Level of audience addressed, Authors' educational qualifications, Knol writing objectives and Commitment to the writing activity are some of the dimensions on which subgroups can be identified.
The author team has to actively collaborate while competing to increase the knol author base, knol article base and knol visitor base.
Dr. Meredith Belbin identified nine team roles in teams big or small. These roles have a specific contribution to make for the team's success and some individuals have an inclination to play some roles dominantly.
Nine team roles are identified by Belbin
  • Completer - Finisher
  • Coordinator
  • Implementor
  • Monitor - Evaluator
  • Plant
  • Resource Investigator
  • Shaper
  • Specialist
  • Teamworker
The opportunities can be identified by one. But others have to step in complete the task. No big project can be completed with a simple desire. Resources have to identified. We require people who are willing to look around and identify the resources. We need some people who act as coordinators and keep the team aligned. Knol requires both quantity and quality. There is no conflict between them. Authors have to help each other in identifying new ideas for writing knols and in identifying opportunities for improving the quality of a knol on a theme. We require many teamworkers, who behave in way that people feel  pleasure to approach them.
We require specialists in various areas  - subject matter, knol aesthetics, language, html and other technical issues, knol marketing as well as human relations so that the team performs and prospers. We need monitors and of course completer-finishers who actually take the ball past the goal post.
Knol author team requires active knol authors with strong commitment to the platform who contribute individually and then contribute to the team. 

Recruiting New Authors

Knol authors can take a target of recruiting one author in each quarter of the coming years. Knol Author Recruitment - Double the Number of Knol Authors is an attempt in this regard. I find more persons are receptive to the idea of writing knols now. Some attempt by authors to bring up the issue and encouraging them to begin writing on knol will convert many into knol authors.
Each existing author can take a target or recruting 4 authors, one in each quarter during the next year. Then the new authors can also be encouraged to recruit new authors in turn. Recruitment of knol authors has to be a movement till a solid network of author sufficient to sustain the platform with adequate cash flow and profitabilty is established.

Writing More Knols

Promoting and Marketing Knols

Ways to promote Knol Site and Knol Articles is the theme of importance. Every author has to do his bit to promote the knol site, his knols as well as others knols. Many authors are promoting their knols through their blogs. Some of the blogs seem to blogs on a particular area like dental care etc. and knols are being mentioned in them. Such promotion will yield results. Authors can recommend knols of other authors also to their network of friends. Knol Directory - List of Interesting Knol Lists is an attempt to provide a list of interesting knols to knol authors so that they can identify and recommend some of the knols in their circle of influence.
Using article sharing sites like for Article Marketing, Reading and Appreciating) and friend feed etc. is required. Use twitter to inform others when you complete a knol posting. Inform your friends through mail when you post a knol relevant to them. Join knowledge sharing networks like linkedin, orkut, facebook and other discussion boards and inform your online articles.

Knol Writing Contest by Author Group

A Knol Author Group KAF launched a knol writing contest starting from 1/5/2010.

Knol Directory of Interesting Knols - Main Categories

Authors can include their knols that have more than 500 page views in intersting article directory pages and knols having less than 500 page views in new knol directory pages.

Relevant and Comprehensive Knols

Knols have to be relevant to the needs of visitors. Then they have to comprehensive. Authors have to understand various features provided by the knol platform to provide a good experience to visitors and then come out with comprehensive content to provide a service to the visitor. Authors should not think of their benefit or reward first. First think of service to the visitor. What does the visitor want? What can you provide? Is it satisfactory to the visitor? Find out and whenever a visitor expresses his opinion for improvement in the knol, respond instantaneously.
Knol authors need to make constructive suggestions to other authors. Whenever you come across a knol that needs improvement according to you, say it gently as a comment. Be ready to appreciate also. Start with a statement that the topic of the knol is relevant. Then state your suggestions for improvement.

Knol Quality Ratings

Knol was unnecessarily subjected to a criticism on quality issue. If people are free to write articles they will publish poor quality articles. This is a generic argument. Its relevance is less as there are many websites where there is people generated content and they are in the top 10, top 25 and top 50 and top 100 categories. Are there no poor quality articles in them? Certainly there will be poor quality articles. But they do not reach the visitors. They never show up in search engine results. I am doing searches on knol during the last few days to develop subject-wise sub-directories of interesting knols. Knol Directory - List of Interesting Knol Lists. There are many articles with more than 500 page views in the last one year, which is a good number and there are many with 10 or 15 page views. Nobody will look at those articles with 10 or 15 page views when they can look at 500 page view article or a 5000 page view article. A poor article may exist on a site,but it will not affect the visitor community a lot. They will not stumble upon it unless they are curious to know what is so bad in it that it had only 15 page views till that time.
But to satisfy the critics and also to satisfy itself, knol has set up a top quality rating badge above the five star ratings that it created for visitors to rank articles. It is a good sign that there are 1565 top quality articles on knol at this point in time and this number is going up every day. Knol management can publish the number of 5 star quality articles, 4 star quality articles and 3 star quality articles. Such publication of statistics will encourage visitors to give ratings more frequently and keep the ratings in proper order. There is no big worry of manipulation of ratings, because if 50 people visit and all give five star ratings what is the author going to get out of it. He may feel happy that he asked his friends to give positive ratings. It may not really affect visitors if visitors are not interested in that topic at all. Unless visitors are interested in a topic, they will not search for it. There is already enormous information in the web about each and every topic. Every author has to create some thing different and valuable and then only marketing and promotion work. When people have not produced a proper product, they cannot sell the product despite great efforts.
Knol platform management and knol authors have to focus on developing more and more high quality articles and have to put in place a mechanism to discard extremely poor or noncompliant articles. At the middle range they should allow authors to use their judgment in response to the reactions from genuine visitors to their knols.

Knol Page Views

The top 800 knols had a total of 8,350,540 page views as on 29.7.2009 (estimated). Page Views for Top 800 Knols.This figure gives an average daily viewership of 28.6 per day.
Can Knol achieve 365 million page views in the second year? An answer is attempted below.

Knol Page View and Knol Quality Relation (Expected)

On a base of 1,000,000 ( one million) knols the following relation can be expected
First 100,000 knols  - 300,000 page views per day (3 page views per knol per day)
Next 100,000 knols - 150,000 page views per day (1.5 pv pk per day)
Next 300,000 knols - 300,000 page views per day (1 pv pk per day)
Next 500,000 knols - 250,000 page views per day (0.5 pv pk per day)
This scheme estimates that knols will have at an average one page view per day. Is it feasible? I am the author of maximum number knols as on date. Many people criticize me for my quantity. According to knol page view counter I am having around 3000 page views per day (24,000 pv per week). According to google analytics my knol page view number has peaked at 1233. I think the difference in page views between analytics and knol page view counter could be because analytics does not capture page views in other language domains like (kr) etc. So if my knols can have average page views of one per day, I can expect a similar number for many authors who are writing smaller number of knols with better care, attention and detail.
Can there be 25,000 knols with knol quality badges? Yes, there are many authors who are writing smaller number of knols and concentrating a lot in competing with existing articles on net to get into top 10 slot. I think more and more knols with quality badges will be posted. I expressed the hope that 25,000 quality badge knols will be there in a comment on knol help bulletin board.
Visit Knol Progess - Weekly Bulletin for recent information

Open Collaboration Knols

Provide an opportunity to visitors to collaborate
Open collaboration feature is a unique feature of knol platform in comparison to blogger platform for publishing articles. Authors have to leverage this feature to converge the knowledge of large number of persons in the world into a knol. It is suggested that every author have at least one open collaboration knol at any point in time. When 100,000 knol authors are there, there will be 100,000 open collaboration knols. They provide opportunity to visitors to collaborate and visitors may come back twice or thrice to add material to the knol and also they will tell their friends to visit the knol as they have added the material. Open Collaboration Knols - Leveraging Wiki Platform of Knol.

Have a Plan for 1,000,000 Page Views in the Next Year

Knol authors especially existing active  knol authors need to come out with plan to have 1,000,000 page views for their knols.
What was the page view number for your best knol last year? 100,000, or 10,000 or 1000. This page view number tells you what you need to do next year to reach 1,000,000 page views.
I am happy to see 24,200 page views per week statistic on my knol portfolio. That gives me a possible one million page views in the next one year. I am sure many more knol authors will reach this milestone in months to come. Many of them are writing new interesting knols.

100-Knol Portfolios

I started compiling the list of knol authors who posted more than 100 knols. It is encouraging to see that there are may authors who posted 100 knols and more. Centurion Knollers - Knol Authors
I hope 1000 authors reach this milestone of 100 knols and each will have 100,000 page views in the next one year giving 100 million page views for the knol platform from these 1000 author group.

New Initiatives and New Features From Knol Platform                 

1. How many people use knol search after they visit a knol from a search engine? How to improve this metric?
2. How many visitors visit knol home page after they visit a knol from a search engine? How to improve this behavior?
3. Can knol convince celebrity authors to contribute articles with the same reward structure? Celebrity authors in areas like economics, politics, management, investment may attract up to 500,000 page views in a year. Persons like Warren Buffett, Paul Krugman, Steven Covey, Daniel Goleman etc. can attract visitors to the knol platform. They also act as role models and more reputed authors come online on knol.
4. Make the story of knol a b-school case study. The product manager and marketing manager of knol can make presentations in US B schools and initiate  case discussion on knol's strategy and marketing programs. The suggestions that emerge out of the case discussion can be evaluated for implementation.
5. Author referral program can be implemented for promoting Knol site through a unique referral id. If anybody registers with author referral id then the referral count will be increased. Total referrals can be added to the profile and rewards can be given for authors with more referrals.
6. Advertorials can be a good advertisement vehicle for companies and knol can initiate such a service. Knol platform can be uniquely positioned for offering this advertising alternative. 
7. Knol could be an outsourcing facility new online media companies. People with expertise in content generation and editing can start online media companies and knol can act as outsourcing facility for technology, storage space and content delivery. Knol can provide the domain the firm wants and can also index the articles through knol search engine. A Knol Pro service can be launched for commercial media business firms.

8. On 14.2.2010, I observed that knol help main page has only 48,000 page views. It is a very low number. Knol needs to advertise its knol help main page on various google pages and increase this page view number to around 500,000 as early as possible. Awareness will increase use and making more people aware of knol facility will increase number of authors on knol.

New Initiatives From Knol Platform (Introduced)

20.8 2009
All knol authors must be happy with the announcement. Serious scientific papers which are reviewed or moderated are being published on knol. PLOS a body of scientists for open access publishing started publishing on knol. I made a blog post on the announcement.
Reviewed/Moderated Science Paper Publishing on Knol

So knol platform management came out with a strong support statement on knol platform with an initiative. My appreciation to them.

December 2009

Hindi knol competition in collaboration with Hindustan Times
It is a successful knol competition.

Page View Estimates of Knol - Top 800 Knols                                      

Estimate on 13.8.2009: 10,050,481
Page view estimate for a week:
The page view estimate for a week for the top 2500 most viewed authors comes to one million. We may estimate the page views for the entire knol portfolio as 1.5 million per week. But the break even point of knol will be one million page views per day. Knol authors have to put in initiatives to reach one million page views per day.
The random sample and sample data used for estimation is available in Knol Authors - Top Viewed Authors - Random Selection.
Visit Knol Progess - Weekly Bulletin for recent information 
Knol Authors Countries
Most Viewed Authors (28.2.2010)

Australia : 44
China: 44
Denmark: 3
France 59
Germany: 25
Hungary: 2
India: 124
Japan: 10
Korea: 15
USA: 97

Knol Monitor

2896 page views. Good increase in page views.

1000 page views completed. Page view as on today: 1023
Cumulative Page Views: 985
Good that page views were 300 in a month. More people are reading the knol. They must be evaluating the plan provided. I do look forward improvements in the plan contributed by other knol authors. They can give their comments and thoughts here. They can write a new knol altogether. I am an advocate of knolstorming.
Cum Page views 683
Comments 19
Cum Page views 501 
Cum Page Views 272
Cum. Page Views: 132
Comments: 10

Original Knol Number 1329

Started in July 2009

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