KNOL Means OLD Horse in Dutch

The last week, Google has been quite busy with promoting KNOL. The Wikipedia copy should become THE authority in any field. Unfortunately for Google, KNOL still lacks the deepness of Wikipedia and especially the traffic.

First a contest for writing good quality content for KNOL & Dummies started on Jan 23. Three days later Matt Cutts, a high profile employee from Google, writes about the Four Things You Need To Know About KNOL. These include:

    1. Google Knol does not receive any sort of boost or advantage in Google?s rankings
    2. Knol is doing just fine
    3. The Knol team is not standing still
    4. When you want to write a quick article or put some information on the web, Knol is a great place to do it

Now, this does not happen uncoordinated, especially as you can see a KNOL link on the homepage of Google.com today.

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Some of the most viewed real estate on the web is being used to persuade people to write content on KNOL, and share the Advertisement revenue with Mr Google.

Oh, and yes, a "KNOL" is an old, almost dead horse in Dutch!

Bend Over for Knol & Dummies

Would you like to get ripped off by Google Knol and Dummies? Sounds like Revenge of The Nerds doesn't it? So what would you think of this; you can win a $1000 with the Knol dummies contest. Yes, that's right, Google will be paying you for writing the best how to content on a Google Knol.

Dummies.com is known for simple, concise how-to content. Knol is one of the easiest and most powerful tools for sharing knowledge online. Now we've teamed up to give you the chance to write a how-to article about something you're particularly good at ? and just maybe become famous (and even a little bit richer) in the process.

To enter the contest, simply click the button and begin creating your own how-to knol about whatever subject you know best.

In any case, you know that you will be giving away your best content in this contest for only a mere chance on $1000. You bet that the Big G will make much more of your efforts with placing ads around it, selling the content to Dummies.com and printing books about how smart you really are. Except your name won't be on the cover!

Really? So what about Don't Be Evil? Oh that, the don't be evil mantra only counts in the circumstances you should not be evil to Google!

Knol Contest Terms & Conditions

So let's have a closer look at the contest terms:

The "Knol For Dummies.com Contest" (the "Contest") encourages entrants to share their knowledge of a particular subject by creating an article on that subject on knol.google.com and submitting it into the contest.  "Knols" refer to individual essays or articles submitted using the Knol Service.

The grand Prize

The prizes are for real. Who wouldn't want to win a $1,000 in cash. Especially in this economy, everybody can use a little bid extra cash!

One (1) Grand Prize: A check for $1,000 and the opportunity to have winners article published on the "For Dummies" web site (www.dummies.com). Four (4) First Prizes: the opportunity to have First Prize Winners? article published on the "For Dummies" web site (www.dummies.com).

What happens to your content?

So what happens to your submission? You guessed right, for the small amount of just $1,000, you will give up all the rights of the content you have worked on. It will be republished on the Google Knols, probably will be used in the Dummies books, and might even become a document in Google Book search after all.

By participating in this Contest, you agree and hereby grant the Sponsors permission to use, copy, modify and make available your submission to the public for any purpose, such as, but not limited to, press and media communications, without further compensation to you. You also agree to participate in any media or promotional activity regarding the Contest. If you are a winner, you agree that the Sponsors may use your name and likeness to administer and promote the Contest and to conduct media interviews and promotional events, unless prohibited by law.

Oh, and by the way, the lucky winner will have the awesome chance of winning to spend more time in useless interviews, or even worse travel to headquarters in Mountain View for any ridiculous meetings, without getting any compensation for your time and effort!

The Losers really Lose

Well all this is great, the winner will get a 1,000 bucks and maybe some fancy interview on Google's headquarter or other 10 minutes of fame. But for the losers, they are really losers, as they not only get no money, they also have just given up all the rights on their expertise:

Each Entrant understands and acknowledges that the Contest Entities have wide access to ideas, stories, designs, and other literary materials, and that new ideas are constantly being submitted to it or being developed by their own employees. Each Entrant also acknowledges that many ideas or stories may be competitive with, similar to, or identical to the Entry and/or each other in theme, idea, plot, format, or other respects. Each Entrant acknowledges and agrees that such Entrant will not be entitled to any compensation as a result of Contest Entities' use of any such similar or identical material that has or may come to Contest Entities, or any of them, from other sources. Each Entrant acknowledges and agrees that the Contest Entities do not now and shall not have in the future any duty or liability, direct or indirect, vicarious, contributory, or otherwise, with respect to the infringement or protection of the Entrant's copyright in and to the submission. Finally, each Entrant acknowledges that, with respect to any claim by Entrant relating to or arising out of any Contest Entities' actual or alleged exploitation or use of any submission or other material submitted in connection with the Contest, the damage, if any, thereby caused to the applicable Entrant will not be irreparable or otherwise sufficient to entitle such Entrant to seek injunctive or other equitable relief or in any way enjoin the production, distribution, exhibition, or other exploitation of any program, web site, advertising, materials or other thing based on or allegedly based on the Entry, and Entrant's rights and remedies in any such event shall be strictly limited to the right to recover damages, if any, in an action at law.

The above passage out of the T&C's of the contest just state that you will give up all the rights on your work, even if you don't win! Dummies and/or Google will have the right to publish your work or similar work that is based on the same thinking or ideas. You have given up all the rights to get compensated for the work!

Fair or Unfair

Now, this does not sound like a good and fair contest to me. I would never participate in a contest like this, and I doubt that other experts who take the time to read through the specific rules of the contest would sign on to this. But the sad part of the Internet is that the majority of people agreeing to terms & conditions online do not read the small text of the agreement they enter in.

Companies make use of this, thankful for all the free bee's they get handed on a silver platter. It's the responsibility of the individual to know in what kind of agreement they enter. Everybody who would like to participate is able and should read the details of the agreement of the contest.

The question really is; Is paying people less than minimum wage for hard work ethical enough to keep carry the Don't Be Evil mantra? Or shall we just say, Hey we rip-off people but are willing to throw you a bone here and there!

And as a last comment; the copyrighted footer disclaimer is too funny.

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So would this mean that this post is violating these terms, or as it is 2009, the terms are just from the past? We will see, the just limited parts I used to make a point here are being used in the light of fair use!