Google knol discontinued

We just learned that Google has – somewhat quietly – discontinued Google knol, a very interesting project that presumably never really took off and/or was so eclipsed by Wikipedia that Google decided to kill it.  I’m a little surprised because it seems to me folks should NOT start social media projects unless they intend to at least keep them posted online indefinitely.  Otherwise, in my opinion, you have sort of broken an implied contract with your contributors that you will at least keep a website/project/media alive for the long haul.   I can understand “no more support” for such things because that could represent a significant expense, but it seems we have more and more examples where big players are abandoning projects and deleting content from the web, which in general is not cool at all.    Google (and another example, Kodak’s photo environment) generally allow people to download or move their content to other services, but I’d sure be upset if I’d devoted many hours to knol only to learn all my time would soon be wasted by the big G.    THAT SAID, Google deserves a lot of credit for creating a way for people to redirect the knol links to WordPress.   It does appear to me they have anticipated the concerns expressed here and made it fairly easy for folks to preserve their work.   Likewise with Kodak where they are pushing the content to Shutterfly.    So, in summary, maybe it’s overreacting here given that the content will be preserved, just at different URLs:

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Knol?

Knol launched in 2007 as a method for authors to work together to create authoritative articles about specific topics that they know about.

Why is Knol being discontinued?

Google is prioritizing our product efforts so we can make things much simpler for our users and devote more resources to high impact products.

When is Knol being discontinued?

From now through April 30th, 2012, Knol will work as usual, but we’ve made it easy for you to download your knols to file and/or export them to WordPress.com. From May 1, 2012 through October 1, 2012, knols will no longer be viewable, but can be downloaded and exported. After that time, Knol content will no longer be accessible.

How do I download my knols?

From now through October 1, 2012, you can download your knols from knol.google.com. There will be a large section at the top of the page with links to either export your knols to WordPress.com or download them to a file. Clicking the latter will take you to Google Takeout where you can create your archive.

What are the alternatives to Knol?

Knol authors have worked together to create very informative and authoritative content. To continue fostering this, we have worked with Solvitor and Crowd Favorite to create Annotum, an open-source scholarly authoring and publishing platform based on WordPress.

Why is WordPress.com the default destination for Knol content?

The team at Automattic, which runs WordPress.com, has worked hard to enable Annotum and make its review and publishing functionality available by imported knols. The peer review workflow can be enabled for any Annotum site by following a few simple steps outlined in this knowledge base article.

Can I redirect my knol’s URLs so people can find the content?

Yes. Knols exported to WordPress.com will automatically be redirected. To manually set redirects, visit knol.google.com and click on My knols. On the Knols tab, each published knol will have a link to “Set a redirect URL”. Click that link and enter your new target URL. Click Save to set the redirect. Note that users who try to visit the knol’s original URL will see a page informing them that the page’s author would like to send them to a new page and be given the choice of whether to continue. Any co-author or co-owner of a knol has permission to set or remove a redirect URL for that knol until May 1, 2012, when they will be locked.

Now

Facebook IPO values company at over 100 billion

Call me crazy but I think the frenzy over Facebook shares is very shortsighted and another example of internet bubble trouble brewing.    Facebook is a fantastic company with an amazing product, but I think people coming in now are probably overestimating the revenue potential for the company.   Note how, in the IPO road show, insiders were cautious about claims for the future.   Smart.   In fact possibly a way to outsmart naive non-insiders who will simply think  1. Facebook is huge.  2.Facebook is growing 3.  Facebook shares are a good value  (BUZZER HERE!).   At this valuation Facebook will have to be very, very good at monetizing traffic, and this is an area in which they have had somewhat limited success so far.

A key factor here is how Facebook will evolve in China and India and Europe.   Major inroads there could mean profits will catch up with expectations, but failures there will make it hard for Facebook to dominate the social media landscape in the same way Google has dominated search.

Facebook IPO to raise about $10,000,000,000. Value of Facebook approaches 100 Billion.

The numbers are staggering as Facebook prepares to launch her initial public offering.   With Facebook share prices expected to be $28-$35, Facebook’s public value will be 77-96 Billion dollars, making the company one ofthe biggest in the world and founder Mark Zuckerberg one of the richest humans ever to walk the planet.  Also one of the youngest rich humans.  At 27, the wiley coyote (or maybe better the roadrunner) of American Internet Entrepreneurs has come to dominate both his company and the social media market niche in a way noone has ever done before.

 

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc CEO Mark Zuckerberg fielded questions about the No. 1 social network’s slowing revenue growth … as he kicked off a cross-country roadshow to promote the company’s $10 billion IPO.   MORE from Reuters

Human Connectome Project continues to map the brain

We’ll be keeping tabs on the human connectome project as well as the remarkable DARPA SyNAPSE and BLUE BRAIN.     Connectome is working to map the human brain, and they already have a very interesting gallery and information online:

http://www.humanconnectomeproject.org/gallery/

An early goal of the Human Connectome project is to discover how a relatively small number of genes can define such complex structure.    One explanation offered by researchers there is to compare the brain to a big city where a huge “two dimensional” flat network of streets interacts with three dimensional buildings.    As in the brain a relatively simple and somewhat repetitive structure can branch into enormous complexity and possibilities.

Blue Brain Project Progress …

BLUE BRAIN – the search for strong artificial intelligence.    Creating a mechanized “copy” of brain function.

For me it’s one of the world’s most significant and intriguing science projects along with DARPA SyNAPSE which is also working towards strong AI but in a very different way.

Using an IBM Blue Gene Supercomputer, Blue Brain is working to create a simulation of many of the interactions in the Neocortex of the brain (think “where we think”).   Progress after a few years of the project seems pretty steady although DARPA SyNAPSE has been a lot more money lately as it dips into the massive resources of the US military.

http://thebeautifulbrain.com/2011/08/bluebrain-year-two/

China Presents at Showstoppers, CES 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas

Although Chinese companies have been strongly represented at CES for many years, I think we’ll continue to see China work towards a kind of “national brand” where the emphasis is a bit like the “made in USA” approach here in the USA.

This may be a challenge given the political climate here in the USA where both parties maintain the stance of “fearing China’s economy” even as they recognize our economies are intertwined almost beyond recognition and in general offer many “win win” relationships between consumers and companies in both countries.

Culturally, China is only beginning to learn the ins and outs of the American hype machine, leading to some amusing pitch lines and displays that might benefit greatly from a Las Vegas style makeover. That said, it’s kind of “charming” to see the more subtle and respectful business tactics of Asia here in the USA. For example the passing of business cards is done with a bow and both hands.

CES Wrapup – more CES press than you can shake a memory stick at….

Here from the official CES site, CESWeb.org, are several links to articles before and during the show.   I’ll follow this up with a list of some of my favorite articles about the themes at CES I found most interesting, to wit:

Rise of the Ultrabook / Thin Notebook / Hybrid Tablet

Slow but powerful ongoing convergence of internet with electronic devices of all types, especially mobile ones.

Does anybody really care about 3D TV?  Really?

Green tech skepticism is not a crime.

Internet TVs and YouTube keynote packed at the conference that hardly even talked about the social media and the internet 5 years ago.

—————-   More press about CES —————

From ZDNet, January 12, 2012

“CES 2012: 10 Facebook Platform integrations”

From PC Magazine, January 12, 2012
“Great Audio Gear at CES 2012″

From Tulsa World, January 12, 2012
“Thin ultrabooks trend at 2012 Consumer Electronics Show”

From Los Angeles Times, January 12, 2012
“At CES, TV makers show off lighter, sharper sets”

From San Francisco Chronicle, January 12, 2012
“CES’ Eureka Park shows cutting-edge products”

From USA Today, January 12, 2012
“‘Smart’ TVs and other products proliferate at CES”

From The Irish Times, January 12, 2012
“Show time for electronics as record numbers exhibit at CES”

From Forbes, January 12, 2012
“CES 2012: Camera Makers Fight Back With Smart Devices”

From CNET, January 12, 2012
“Post-show report: Big OLEDs dominate TV news at CES 2012″

From Huffington Post, January 12, 2012
“Carmakers Count On Tech To Transform Autos Into Companions “

From BBC, January 11, 2012
“CES 2012: Environmentally sound technology on display”

From The Washington Post, January 11, 2012
“CES 2012: New smartphones, ultrabooks unveiled”

From The Mercury News, January 11, 2012
” inShare Magid on Tech: At CES, a new golden age for cars is beginning”

From The Seattle Times, January 11, 2012
“CES 2012: Gallery of new TVs — big, thin and bright”

From The New York Times, January 10, 2012
“CES Gets Started”

From NY Daily News, January 10, 2012
“CES 2012: Tech companies go ‘All in’ for Las Vegas convention”

From Daily Tech, January 9, 2012
“CES 2012: Samsung’s Series 5, Series 9 Ultrabooks Bow in Las Vegas “

From Las Vegas Sun, January 8, 2012
“2012 CES: Celebrity list includes Bieber, Snooki, 50 Cent, LL Cool J, Overeem”

From USA Today, January 8, 2012
“Yahoo and Tom Hanks to announce Net video project at CES”

From The Huffington Post, January 8, 2012
“5 Big Gizmo Trends for CES 2012 “

From CNET, January 8, 2012
“Leak Week makes CES better (opinion)”

From EE Times, January 7, 2012
“Hot parties at CES 2012″

From TechRadar, January 6, 2012
“Why we’re crazy about CES 2012″

From The Denver Post, January 6, 2012
“CES 2012 preview – robotic blocks and the show’s new spotlight on startups”

From The Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2012
“Big Gadget Show Expecting a Blowout”

From The Huffington Post, January 5, 2012
“Eureka Park And Green Innovation Coming To CES 201″

From Variety, January 2, 2012
“Kudos cornucopia set for CES”

From CNET, December 30, 2011
“Eight things I’m looking forward to seeing at CES”

From PR Newswire, December 28, 2011
“Finalists Announced for Mobile Apps Showdown; Winners to be Announced at 2012 International CES, January 12″

From PR Newswire, December 28, 2011
“Finalists Announced for Last Gadget Standing; Winners To Be Announced at 2012 International CES, January 12″

From Engadget, December 21, 2011
“CES 2012 to feature 94 startup companies in ‘Eureka Park TechZone'”

From CNET, December 20, 2011
“CES setting up its own startup alley”

From TechRadar, December 20, 2011
“CES 2012: what to expect Updated: Phones, cameras, computing, TV, gaming and more”

From CNET, December 19, 2011
“Faster phones and more Ice Cream Sandwich at CES 2012 “

From CNET, December 19, 2011
“CES 2012: The unlikeliest car show”

From CNET, December 19, 2011
“Clouds everywhere, voice control, home integration, and health: How software will bring it all together at CES 2012″

From Twice, December 19, 2011
“Home Audio: What’s Coming At CES 2012″

From CNET, December 19, 2011
“Predictions for CES 2012″

From Spike TV, December 16, 2011
“This Year’s CES Could Be the Year of the Tablet”

From CNET, December 16, 2011
“Better 3D, voice control, more apps: How CES 2012 will advance the TV”

From Spike TV, December 14, 2011
“The Greatest Celebrity Moments in CES History”

From EE Times, December 14, 2011
“CES: USB wall outlets power up consumer devices”

From Spike TV, December 13, 2011
“The Things We’re Most Looking Forward to Seeing at CES 2012″

From EE Times, December 9, 2011
“Top 10 CE innovation gadgets at CES”

From TechRadar, November 29, 2011
“CES 2012: Gary Shapiro talks tech”

From TechRadar, November 22, 2011
“CES 2012: what to expect”

From Mashable, November 18, 2011
“Ultrabooks Get Ready for Their Close-Up at CES 2012″

From PCWorld, November 16, 2011
“CES 2012 Gadget Preview”

YouTube at CES 2012 – FIVE BILLION hours served per month!?!

The Google-owned online video service Youtube gave this morning’s keynote here at CES 2012.  It wasn’t all that interesting except for one amazing statistic.   They’re serving five billion hours of video per month now.   This would amount to about an hour of video for every person on earth old enough to access youtube.   I want some verification because that number is hard to believe, but if true it represents a shift in consumer media consumption that is simply staggering.

We all knew things were moving from offline to online media, but this suggests that online video adoption and usage is happening faster and with more gusto than all but the most enthusiastic online evangelists would have predicted.   In fact YouTube’s  Robert Kyncl noted how they have been constantly revising projections based on higher use than expected.

How will this trend affect us?    Probably in some very dramatic ways.   Heavy capital TV networks may increasingly see advertisers shifting to highly targeted niche markets, lowering the quality of network productions as money dries up.   Meanwhile more and more user generated content is pouring online, diverting more  attention away from traditional media.   The end result in terms of the content landscape?   I’m guessing we’ll see even more of a ” race to the bottom” in terms of content, where low quality lowbrow content will push out the better stuff.  Yet “high quality TV” has always been something of an oxymoron anyway, so nobody should lose any sleep as we watch our watching habits shift from our favorite TV drama to our favorite online personality’s content channel.   In fact I’d predict that we’ll even see some great quality, low cost shows come out as the barriers to entry fall away and millions more clever content producers flood the online landscape with …. more stuff.