Have you seen the add with the girl saying that it’ll take 2 billion and some odd hamster to get to the moon (annoyingness: she should have asked from what point, sea level or the Himalayas)? Did you go to the site and wonder…what the heck is this thing?
Well the KGB site seems to be a combination of Google and Wikipedia, with the community guidelines saying you may be penalized if you misuse your power, because “with great power comes great responsibility” (yes, they actually do quote the spiderman comic…however they attribute the quote to the wrong character; it was really spiderman’s uncle that said it…wonder if they’ll penalize themselves).
Apparently KGB used to be INFONXX, a company that provides “branded directory assistance services” according to their Linked In Profile. I discovered this by reading their press release about Bruce Stewart the new CEO, Mobile and Digital. Prior to taking this position, Bruce Stewart worked at Yahoo and had a fancy long title: Vice President & General Manager of the Connected Life Americas Division, which I was able to confirm on this older Yahoo site. Reuters, Yahoo, and The Washington Post picked up on the press release, so I’m assuming its legit.
What I find most interesting about all this is that KGB means business. They are attempting to compete with Google’s Knol, a similar project that’s “goal is to encourage people who know a particular subject to write an authoritative article about it“. Knol is a bit older it seems than KGB (Knol was announced in 2007 on the Google Blog). At the same time they are attempting to compete with Yahoo!’s directory assistance prowess, by using Yahoo!’s employees.
What I like most is that its a phone company that sees that phone info isn’t what it used to be; they are branching out into texting, buying up texting technology and the internet with the new kgb site. I see it like MovieFone, the movie information services that you used to have to (gasp!) call to get movie times. And if you’re interested in how people are using the kgb site, you should try their scroll of questions.
And for those of you that think it’ll install malware on your computer, you’re probably doing a Google search for Knowledge Generation Bureau and clicking the second link, not the first one. Tip: you should read the website link in green before you click to see if it matches with the website name.
Knowledge Generation Bureau – Commercial – Episode 1