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We’ve known for a while that Google’s Knol is no Wikipedia killer, but now the knowledge-sharing site is being reduced to a sad Craigslist wannabe. The original idea behind Knol was that people could collaboratively write definitive articles about any topic they like and get rewarded by earning a share of the AdSense revenues for each page they author. Well, that model doesn’t work so well if nobody bothers to read the articles on Knol no matter how much search karma Google gives them. Quantcast estimates that only 174,000 people visited the site in the past month.
Sadly, Knol just never panned out. Google should just end its misery, just like it did when it killed other under-performing projects such as Lively and Google Notebooks. Knol will never come close to Wikipedia. It can’t even cut it as a classifieds listing site.