Home Google Cleans House Again, Killing Wave & More, Leaving Knol to WordPress

Google Cleans House Again, Killing Wave & More, Leaving Knol to WordPress

Google just announced another mass termination of old services, including the final closing of Google Wave, the Google Gears browser extension, the Friend Connect service that predated Google+ badges, a bookmark-sharing service called Bookmarks Lists, and the Timeline search view that was quietly shut off earlier this month.

The announcement also describes the fate of Knol, a collaborative knowledge database like Wikipedia that never made it far off the ground. Google has been working with Solvitor and Crowd Favorite to relaunch the service as Annotum, which is powered by WordPress. In addition to these Web services, Google also announced the end of its RE<C renewable energy research program.

Google Slimming Down

Google is retiring old products en masse on a monthly basis now, shutting down Buzz, Labs, Code Search and more in October. It’s all part of the effort to refocus Google on its new social, real-time direction. Old social features such as Google Friend Connect had no chance, since Google+ takes priority now, and the real-time collaboration tools on Wave are being outmoded by Google+, too.

Knol Becomes Annotum, Moves to WordPress

Google has also given up on Knol, its effort to build a collaborative article database like Wikipedia. But the project isn’t dead; Google has helped transition the community and its articles over to a WordPress-based platform called Annotum. This revamp comes with open-source themes and free WordPress.com hosting. As Knol shuts down over the course of next year, Annotum will offer tools to help authors move their content over.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, his partner and wife, made a $500,000 donation to the Wikimedia Foundation last week.

Read more about the services Google is closing on the Google Blog.

Also Scrapped: RE<C Renewable Energy Program

In addition to all the Web services, Google also announced the end of the Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal (RE<C) initiative. This was a research effort to reduce the cost of renewable energy through improvements to solar power technology. Google has published its results up to this point but leaves the rest of the effort up to “other institutions.”

Learn more about the transition from Knol to Annotum on the WordPress blog.

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