Schmidt won’t become Obama’s CTO for the USA, so how about Craig Newmark?


Eric Schmidt said on CNBC’s Jim Cramer show today that even if asked he will not accept a position in the Obama administration that is expected to be something of a chief technology officer for the USA.

Reuters reports on the statement

Technology remains a vital US concern in terms of economy, national security, and offers the potential to extricate us from at least some of the pressing problems of the day.

Who would be a great choice for this position?

Mr President Elect Obama, I’d like to nominate Craig Newmark.  Craig’s  technology credentials are superb, he’s got global vision, and … his website is so successful he’ll never be bothering you for a raise in pay.

Here’s a good discussion of the CTO issue and potential qualifications.    I hope Obama realizes how important it is that this person comes from Silicon Valley, deeply understands the internet from both a technical and business perspective, and has the ear and respect of many other major players.    Schmidt and Newmark meet this test.

Other good choices might be Meg Whitman or Carly Fiorina.   Both which would help cross the party line and the conspiculous tech gender line as well.

Guest Essay: Bjorn Lomborg on Climate Change Budgeting.


Reprinted with permission, copyright Bjorn Lomborg

A New Dawn

The benefits of climate-change policies are limited and costly. Instead, the president-elect needs to coolly evaluate competing priorities, says Bjørn Lomborg.

By BJøRN LOMBORG

Most generations face large and daunting challenges. But few generations have the promise of leadership that could address them rationally. Fortunately, President-elect Obama is uniquely positioned to achieve such a feat and help the world solve some of its most entrenched issues.

He will be swamped with suggestions as to what to do first — perhaps none more impassioned than those who advocate dealing with man-made climate change. He will be told that it is the biggest threat facing humanity and that its solution is the mission of our generation. In many quarters, global warming is now positioned as a kind of uber-issue: a challenge of such enormity that it trumps all others.

Science and economics say otherwise. The United Nations science consensus expects temperature increases of 3 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, leading to (for example) sea-level increases of between one-half and two feet. Yet such a rise is entirely manageable and not dissimilar to the sea-level rise of about one foot we dealt with over the past 150 years. And while warming will mean about 400,000 more heat-related deaths globally, it will also have positive effects, such as 1.8 million fewer cold-related deaths, according to the only peer-reviewed global estimate, published in Ecological Economics — something that is rarely reported.

Most economic models show that the total damage by the end of the century will be about 3% of global GDP — not trivial but certainly not the end of the world. Remember that the U.N. expects that by the end of the century the average person in the world will be some 1,400% richer.

And yet, macro policy-making such as the Kyoto Protocol has been supported by an ill-founded perception of impending doom. The framers of Kyoto will ask that the global economy spend $180 billion per year for each year of the coming century mitigating CO2 emissions, with an eventual reduction of global temperature of an almost immeasurable 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit. It is perhaps time to ask if this can really be our first priority and generational mission.

This would not matter if we had infinite resources, and if we’d already solved all or most other problems.

But we don’t, and we haven’t. Especially in the current economic climate, we have to prioritize what we do — we have to coolly look at the costs and benefits of policies.

If we don’t do this, we in the developed world will preside over a moral tragedy: We will waste an extraordinary sum of money doing relatively little good, while millions of people suffer and die from problems which we could easily have consigned to history.

Take hunger. Impassioned pleas for climate action are based on the fact that agricultural production might decrease because of global warming, especially in the developing world. But again, we need context. Integrated models show that even with the most pessimistic assumptions, global warming would see a reduction in global agricultural production by the end of the century of 1.4%. Since agricultural output is expected to more than double over the same period, this means that climate change will cause the world’s food production to double not in 2080 but in 2081.

Global warming will probably in isolation cause the number of malnourished to increase by 28 million by the end of the century. Yet the much more important point is that the world hosts more than 900 million malnourished right now; though we will add at least three billion more people to humanity before the end of the century, the total number of malnourished in 2100 will probably drop to about 100 million. And in a much richer world, such remaining hunger is entirely a consequence of a lack of political will.

Crucially, focusing on tackling hunger through climate change policy is amazingly inefficient. Implementing Kyoto at $180 billion annually, we would avoid two million hungry by the end of the century. Yet spending just $10 billion annually, the U.N. estimates we could save 229 million people from hunger today.

Whatever is spent on climate policies saving one person from hunger in 100 years could instead save 5,000 people today.

This same point is true, whether we look at flooding, heat waves, hurricanes, diseases or water shortages. Carbon cuts are an ineffective response. Direct policies — such as addressing hunger directly — do a lot more.

Some say we just need to go much farther in cutting carbon. But more of a poor solution doesn’t make it better. Even if we could completely stop climate change through carbon cuts (an utterly unrealistic proposal), 97% of the hunger problem would remain, because only 3% of it will be caused by global warming.

More generally, since climate change mainly exacerbates many of the world’s existing problems, reducing emissions will only do marginal good. If global warming is the proverbial straw that will break the camel’s back, spending huge sums on removing the straw is a poor strategy compared to reducing the camel’s excess base load at much lower cost.

Mr. Obama has promised both an ambitious climate strategy investing $150 billion in new technologies and a doubling of foreign assistance to $50 billion. With a teetering U.S. economy, he has indicated that he may have to scale back the $150 billion investment. The Vice President-elect has clearly said that the doubling of aid might have to be postponed.

Now more than ever, there needs to be trade-offs between competing priorities. His foreign aid should focus on areas like direct malnutrition policies, immunization and agricultural research and development.

These would be some of the best investments possible. Why? This year a team of the world’s top economists, including five Nobel Laureates, identified the very best investments in improving the world in a process called the Copenhagen Consensus. They found that if Mr. Obama’s increased foreign development spending was focused on these areas, it could achieve 15 to 25 times more good than the cost.

We should also deal with climate change, but in a smarter way.

Kyoto shows what not to do. In 1997, politicians made lofty promises, which were to be fulfilled in the future. Well, the future has arrived and most countries did not want to pay enough — not just the United States, but the European Union, Japan and Canada.

Making even grander pledges at the next negotiation in Copenhagen in 2009 will likely just waste another decade. Mr. Obama’s undertaking to spend $150 billion over the next decade on clean technology could make a huge difference.

In climate change, the Copenhagen Consensus experts found that research and development of low-carbon energy technologies could do 11 times more good than the cost, whereas simple CO2 cuts produce a disappointing 90-cent return on the dollar.

Amazing good could come from using Mr. Obama’s $150 billion primarily to invest in creating new technologies, rather than simply subsidizing existing ones.

Investing in existing inefficient technology (like current-day solar panels) costs a lot for little benefit. Germany, the leading consumer of solar panels, will end up spending $156 billion by 2035, yet only delay global warming by one hour by the end of the century.

If Mr. Obama invested instead in low-carbon research and development, the dollars would go far (researchers are relatively cheap), and the result — maybe by 2040 — will be better solar panels that are cheaper than fossil fuels. Complex Kyoto-style political negotiations would become unnecessary because everyone, including China and India, will want to switch. The change will come because in large part Mr. Obama’s $150 billion will have made the technologies cheaper. Following Mr. Obama’s lead, countries should agree to spend 0.05% of their GDP on energy R&D — increasing the global R&D ten-fold, yet costing 10 times less than Kyoto. This could realistically and cost-effectively fix global warming in the medium term.

Harnessing the immense intellectual and scientific capital of the great nation of the United States to help solve the problems of the world in a rationally and morally defensible way is our true generational mission.

It will require true leadership, and the courage to fly in the face of much popular opinion — traits Mr.Obama has already exhibited in great measure.

Change is definitely needed. Focusing on investment in malnutrition and disease could do immense good at low cost, brandishing a world where healthier and stronger humans can take charge of their own lives and deal better with the many challenges of the future.

Global warming also needs strong leadership. Avoiding the lost decades and misused resources of a Kyoto approach would be paramount, and a focus on 0.05% of GDP R&D would fix long-term global warming at much lower cost and with much higher probability of success. This, truly, would be change we could believe in.

Copenhagen Business School professor Bjørn Lomborg is the organizer of the Copenhagen Consensus and author of “Cool It.”

Death rumors of blogosphere are greatly exaggerated


Nick Carr is usually insightful over at Rough Type, but he’s missed the point of blogging if he thinks the best of the medium is behind us. On the contrary I think the real promise of blogging – as well as the web in general – is yet to come.

Why are the rumors of the death of the blogosphere greatly exaggerated even while the medium is still improving? Because things are not happening in the structured way articulate and/or elite information folks often prefer.

Rather we see regular folks sharing their observations, sometimes in inspired ways but often just as part of a growing amateur and untuned symphony of insights.   Although it is *certainly* true to note how much more crappy material there is out there than there was a few years ago before blogging went “mainstream”, it’s also true there is much more good material – it’s just become harder to find.

The good stuff is now distributed across such a large space and within massive comment streams that we need to build better blog search rather than a big blog mortuary.

I think folks like Nick are also correctly noting that the big blogs – thanks to big money – have become much worse because they now pander to large audiences with a lot of fluff pieces and filler.   Often the original writers with unique and interesting voices are eclipsed at their own blogs by hired hacks who offer either quirky irrelevant views or inferior insights to the original.  Part of the problem here is that writing has become commoditized at money blogs such that the spoils are reserved for the owners not the current writers.  Ergo, formerly first class blog writing becomes…second class.

These speed bumps in my view will ultimately work themselves out and we’ll see the “real” voices (Nick Carr’s blog above is a great example) gradually gain more of a  following at the expense of those who simply push out more information for the sake of a larger footprint.    For me, blogs that have lost their appeal even as they gained in theoretical “valuations” were Searchblog by John Battelle and TechCrunch by Mike Arrington.    Both remain “good” sources of information with “good” writing, but before these were *great* blogs with great new insider voices.    I think this is the problem Nick and many others are worried about without justification.   On TV you can only change the channel so many times before you are back at the same old junk.  On the internet there are more channels than minutes in a lifetime.

Mashup Camp and Convergence08


Looking forward to two upcoming conferences – Mashup Camp and the very first Convergence 08 conference.

Mashup Camps have been coming to Mountain View for over two years, bringing great startups for their product launches as well as lively discussions about innovations and new products to help the mashup community. There also will be mashup experts from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Amazon, and many more key players. Programmable Web has the best coverage of the Mashup topic.

Convergence will have even more provocative content as the first conference to address the intersection of four technologies likely to shape the world in extraordinary ways: Nanotechnology, Biological technologies (gene splicing, stem cells, DNS mapping, life extension) , Information technologies (internet and computing) and Cognitive technologies. This last would, I think, broadly include everything from brain enhancing drugs and devices to artificial intelligence. AI is the most exciting category for me, and I remain convinced that we’ll see conscious computers within about 20 years – hopefully and very possibly less. Conscious computing is likely to change the entire planetary game to such a degree it’s nearly impossible to predict what will happen *after that*, which is one of the issues that will be discussed at the conference.

My main concern is that proponents and predictions keep things real and this does not become a sort of brainstorming session for half-baked ideas and ideologies.

After millions of years of very slow biological evolution we’ve now entered a new age where technology is likely to eclipse most and probably all of our human abilities. Even that fairly obvious idea – which simply is an extension of current developments – leaves many people skeptical, cold to the idea, or even antagonistic about the changes that are coming. Like it or not … we are all in this together and it’s best to keep it that way as much as possible.

Barack Obama Victory Speech Transcript. US President Elect Speech. November 4th 2008


Hello, Chicago.

If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.

It’s the answer told by lines that stretched around schools and churches in numbers this nation has never seen, by people who waited three hours and four hours, many for the first time in their lives, because they believed that this time must be different, that their voices could be that difference.

It’s the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled. Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states.

We are, and always will be, the United States of America.

It’s the answer that led those who’ve been told for so long by so many to be cynical and fearful and doubtful about what we can achieve to put their hands on the arc of history and bend it once more toward the hope of a better day.

It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment change has come to America.

A little bit earlier this evening, I received an extraordinarily gracious call from Sen. McCain.

Sen. McCain fought long and hard in this campaign. And he’s fought even longer and harder for the country that he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader.

I congratulate him; I congratulate Gov. Palin for all that they’ve achieved. And I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.

I want to thank my partner in this journey, a man who campaigned from his heart, and spoke for the men and women he grew up with on the streets of Scranton and rode with on the train home to Delaware, the vice president-elect of the United States, Joe Biden.

And I would not be standing here tonight without the unyielding support of my best friend for the last 16 years the rock of our family, the love of my life, the nation’s next first lady Michelle Obama.

Sasha and Malia I love you both more than you can imagine. And you have earned the new puppy that’s coming with us to the new White House.

And while she’s no longer with us, I know my grandmother’s watching, along with the family that made me who I am. I miss them tonight. I know that my debt to them is beyond measure.

To my sister Maya, my sister Alma, all my other brothers and sisters, thank you so much for all the support that you’ve given me. I am grateful to them.

And to my campaign manager, David Plouffe, the unsung hero of this campaign, who built the best — the best political campaign, I think, in the history of the United States of America.

To my chief strategist David Axelrod who’s been a partner with me every step of the way.

To the best campaign team ever assembled in the history of politics you made this happen, and I am forever grateful for what you’ve sacrificed to get it done.

But above all, I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you.

I was never the likeliest candidate for this office. We didn’t start with much money or many endorsements. Our campaign was not hatched in the halls of Washington. It began in the backyards of Des Moines and the living rooms of Concord and the front porches of Charleston. It was built by working men and women who dug into what little savings they had to give $5 and $10 and $20 to the cause.

It grew strength from the young people who rejected the myth of their generation’s apathy who left their homes and their families for jobs that offered little pay and less sleep.

It drew strength from the not-so-young people who braved the bitter cold and scorching heat to knock on doors of perfect strangers, and from the millions of Americans who volunteered and organized and proved that more than two centuries later a government of the people, by the people, and for the people has not perished from the Earth.

This is your victory.

And I know you didn’t do this just to win an election. And I know you didn’t do it for me.

You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime — two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century.

Even as we stand here tonight, we know there are brave Americans waking up in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan to risk their lives for us.

There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after the children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage or pay their doctors’ bills or save enough for their child’s college education.

There’s new energy to harness, new jobs to be created, new schools to build, and threats to meet, alliances to repair.

The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.

I promise you, we as a people will get there.

There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can’t solve every problem.

But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it’s been done in America for 221 years — block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.

What began 21 months ago in the depths of winter cannot end on this autumn night.

This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were.

It can’t happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice.

So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.

Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.

In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

Let’s remember that it was a man from this state who first carried the banner of the Republican Party to the White House, a party founded on the values of self-reliance and individual liberty and national unity.

Those are values that we all share. And while the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress.

As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, we are not enemies but friends. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.

And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.

And to all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from parliaments and palaces, to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of the world, our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.

To those — to those who would tear the world down: We will defeat you. To those who seek peace and security: We support you. And to all those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright: Tonight we proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.

That’s the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected. What we’ve already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This election had many firsts and many stories that will be told for generations. But one that’s on my mind tonight’s about a woman who cast her ballot in Atlanta. She’s a lot like the millions of others who stood in line to make their voice heard in this election except for one thing: Ann Nixon Cooper is 106 years old.

She was born just a generation past slavery; a time when there were no cars on the road or planes in the sky; when someone like her couldn’t vote for two reasons — because she was a woman and because of the color of her skin.

And tonight, I think about all that she’s seen throughout her century in America — the heartache and the hope; the struggle and the progress; the times we were told that we can’t, and the people who pressed on with that American creed: Yes we can.

At a time when women’s voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot. Yes we can.

When there was despair in the dust bowl and depression across the land, she saw a nation conquer fear itself with a New Deal, new jobs, a new sense of common purpose. Yes we can.

When the bombs fell on our harbor and tyranny threatened the world, she was there to witness a generation rise to greatness and a democracy was saved. Yes we can.

She was there for the buses in Montgomery, the hoses in Birmingham, a bridge in Selma, and a preacher from Atlanta who told a people that “We Shall Overcome.” Yes we can.

A man touched down on the moon, a wall came down in Berlin, a world was connected by our own science and imagination.

And this year, in this election, she touched her finger to a screen, and cast her vote, because after 106 years in America, through the best of times and the darkest of hours, she knows how America can change.

Yes we can.

America, we have come so far. We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do. So tonight, let us ask ourselves — if our children should live to see the next century; if my daughters should be so lucky to live as long as Ann Nixon Cooper, what change will they see? What progress will we have made?

This is our chance to answer that call. This is our moment.
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This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.

Thank you. God bless you. And may God bless the United States

Congratulations to President Elect Obama and to … America!


John McCain is now conceding the election with an eloquence that would have benefited his campaign, noting how historic this election has been for America.

CNN has projected what has been clear for several days now – Barack Obama will win the US Presidency,

With this decision we leave behind a two year campaign – the longest transition of leadership in the history of *any* democracy, and we enter a new and potentially transformative time for America. We face some of the greatest challenges in the history of our proud Democracy, but working together we can overcome them all.

CNN Holographic Reporting Debut: Cool


Kudos to CNN for using holographic imagery for the first time in TV reporting.

35 high definition cameras surround Jessica Yellin in a tent in Chicago at the massive Obama rally as she is beamed live to the CNN situation room to talk with Wolf Blitzer.

The imagery is imperfect but of a high enough quality to suggest we’ll be seeing this tool used more and more as a virtual meeting environment.

Good job CNN !

Election Day 2008


Election Day 2008

Voting is still underway but the outcome is already clear – Obama will win our US presidency by either a modest or large number of electoral votes and probably about 54% or more of the popular vote. Many Americans are breathing a sigh of relief that the outcome today is clear and uncompromised by the many flaws of our counting system.

Election and electoral irregularities, negative campaign strategies, and the flaws of Democracy aside, all Americans should be very proud that our nation will once again make our qaudrennial peaceful transition of executive leadership from one administration to another after a national vote.

The Obama victory, combined with large gains in congress for the Democrats, will likely be viewed for centuries as one of the most significant transformative events in American history. This will be one of the largest swings from “conservative Republican” to “liberal Democrat” leadership in all of history.

In a decision based overwhelmingly on political rather than racial considerations, Obama’s rise to the US Presidency will also demolish the pervasive-but-misguided mythology that has suggested for over a generation that America could never transcend our history of prejudice and elect an African American to the highest office.

Yet Americans can transcend the challenges of our past.

We just did.

Oregon Coast Travel


The Oregon Coast is our state’s most recognizable travel destination.   Highway 101 – a National Scenic Byway – winds 363 miles from the Washington state border in the north to the California Border in the south.

At our Oregon Coast Travel website we have a mile by mile guide to Highway 101 that covers ever mile of the journey and the cities and attractions along the way.

This list is NOT all inclusive yet – I’ll be adding more over time… also feel free to leave any  travel or relevant information in the comments.

Astoria to Seaside

Near Astoria is Fort Clatsop where Lewis and Clark spent the winter after their incredible journey across the US as part of Jefferson’s expedition to explore the newly aquired Louisiana Territory.     Seaside remains a popular hotspot for visits to Oregon Coast beaches.

Cannon Beach to Manzanita

Cannon Beach is a very popular beach destination.

Manzanita to Tillamook

Popular attractions in this area include the Tillamook lighthouse and Tillamook Cheese Factory which offer a fun and educational factory tour.    The Cheese Factory is an excellent family attraction and located right off of Highway 101.

Tillamook to Lincoln City

Lincoln City to Newport

Newport to Yachats

In Newport you’ll want to visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium, a world class facility that was once home to Keiko the Whale.    Be sure to check out the Jellyfish exhibits where these amazing and beautiful creatures float in special lighting, and the walk through shark tank.    Allow at least several hours at the Aquarium.   If you are on a very tight budget and don’t have kids (who will love the aquarium!) the Mark O. Hatfield Marine Science Center is nearby and I think it still offers free tours of this Oregon Coast and sea life research facility.

Yachats to Florence

For many the central Oregon Coast offers the most spectacular scenery and the most sublime of the many great Oregon Coast Experiences.   Devils Churn at Cape Perpetua is an amazing sea feature where water rushes into a narrow channel several hundred feet long.   From a short hike you can stand right atop this combination of surf and a collapsed volcanic lava tube to watch the massive surges of water rush in.    Above Devil’s Churn is Cape Perpetua Visitor Center which excellent hikes and interpretive exhibits.

Florence to North Bend

Florence’s “Old Town” is a very popular Oregon Coast destination for dining and shopping with charming shops and several excellent restaurants all within a few blocks of beautifully remodelled buildings that formerly were at the heart of the fishing industry here.

North Bend to Reedsport

Coos Bay to Port Orford

Coos Bay along highway 101 remains a major shipping point from Oregon but thanks to an extensive urban renewal project along the waterfront and the Mill Casino Coos Bay now offers attractive tourist features right off the highway.

Here, 101 diverges from the coast until Port Orford, so if you have time head west on the Cape Arago highway to Shore Acres State Park with some excellent coastal scenery and wonderful coastal gardens.

Port Orford to Brookings to California

Port Orford’s Battle Rock Park is right off of the Highway and the view is spectacular.   There’s an excellent information center here as well with helpful staff.

Brookings is a very popular coastal destination for Oregon’s heading to the beach from Medford and inland Southern Oregon.

Google Knol – very good but very failing?


Google Knol, the Googley competition for Wikipedia, was announced with some fanfare and really seemed like a great idea.    The ‘knol’ stands for “Knowledge”, and articles are written by people who verify their identities and presumably have some knowledge of the topic.    Community ratings are used to filter good from bad knol posts, presumably leaving the best topical coverage at the top of the knol heap.

However as with many Google innovations outside of pure keyword search knol appears to be making gaining little traction with the internet community.     I say this because I rarely see the sited linked to or referenced by blogs or websites and also from my own knol page for “Beijing” which as the top “Beijing” and “Beijing China”  listing you’d think would have seen fairly big traffic over the past months which included the Beijing Olympics.   Yet in about six months that page has only seen 249 total views – that is less than many of my blog posts would see in just a few days here at Joe Duck.

So what’s up with the decisions people make about using one resource over another?    Like Wikipedia Google Knol is an excellent resource.   Reading my Beijing page, for example, would give you some quick and helpful insights into “must see” attractions there.   It’s no travel guide but it would prove a lot more helpful than many sites that outrank it at Google for the term “Beijing”.    Google appears to have relegated their own knol listings to obscure rankings – perhaps because linkage is very low given the low use of knol.    Like many Google search innovations knol appears bound to the dustbin of obscurity as Wikipedia continues to dominate the rankings for many terms (as they should – it’s generally the best coverage although generally very weak for travel because they fail to capture commercial info adequately).

My simple explanation would be that we are prisoners of habit and have trouble managing the plethora of information resources that lie – literally – at our fingertips.   We all have yet to understand much about how the internet works, and how inadequate a picture one gets if they simply stick to a keyword search and hope for the best.