Exposing your knowledge online is a principal way of doing business these days. The reason is that potential customers want to see what you are about; they want to experience you. In the past, they had to arrange a meeting with you – then you had to follow-up and it all took a long time. Now, people can come much more prepared to those meetings with you if you have a significant online presence, which has shown them what you already know.

Businesses use a variety of ways of exposing their knowledge online. They use newsletters, email campaigns, blogs, social networking and online forums. Wikipedia is also a useful way of showing off your knowledge and now, Google has launched what many see as a competitor to this leading online encyclopaedia.

It is called “Knol” – which Google defines as a “unit of knowledge”. It has some similarities to Wikipedia – in that other people can (if you wish) edit your page or collaborate on it. However, here’s an important difference. Google’s Knol expects you to be opinionated – indeed it encourages it. Plus, you can switch off collaboration and comments on your articles in Knol.

These two differences mean that Knol is likely to become more valuable to people wanting to promote their knowledge and their business online. Furthermore, you can even make money out of that because Google integrates its advertising network, AdSense, into the “Knols” you write.

So here’s my first “Knol” – can you click on an advert for me?

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