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Knol is Google’s newest assault on the rest of the internet. (They’re convinced they own it.) I’m sure it will do well, because it’s a Google property, but…

K-N-O-L is their brand name? I couldn’t think of a worse name if I tried. In fact, I’ll offer a cash prize for a worse name. (Details at the end of this article.) First, let’s explore this:

  • Knol contains a silent letter.
  • Phonetically, It starts and ends with a soft consonant. (This guarantees the following conversation will be had countless times… “Blah blah blah Knol.” “What?”)
  • It’s a play on the word knowledge, masquerading as the root. (Which is actually “know”.) But they drop the “w” and add the “l” leaving us with “knol.”
  • They don’t even own Knol is at, on the other hand, sells steam cleaners in Sweden. No kidding. This is who Google couldn’t afford to buy out.

Google is liquid to the tune of $10 billion dollars. Couldn’t they buy Or even something nice like, or And what’s with the web 2.0 drop-a-letter-add-a-letter bandwagon? This is going to look passé in 6 months. It kinda looks that way right now.

Apple Inc. just bought Now that’s a domain. That’s a brand name. Sure the launch sucked, but no one will care in 6 months. They will, however, still be having this conversation:



“No. KNOL.”




“Eh, screw it.”

Google was a game changer 6 years ago, but that is an eternity in web-years. They’re looking more and more like Microsoft or General Motors when it comes to fresh innovation and execution. It’s like they’re trying to confuse.

In fact, if anyone can come up with a worse brand name than Knol, post it in the comments. Next week I’ll pick out the worst one and Paypal you $50.

The Rules:

  • Has to be SFW.
  • 2 syllable maximum.
  • Has to be pronounceable.
  • I’ll announce the winner here next week. (I’ll also send them an email.)
  • If you’re related to me or someone who works at Voltage, you can’t win.
  • The winner is my pick, which means no whining if/when you lose.
  • One entry per email address.
  • Cuil doesn’t count.

Update: We Have a Winner

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