Google SideWiki – Power to the People!

September 25, 2009

Google’s latest gift to the online population comes in the shape of a tiny browser plugin called SideWiki. What it may achieve is however not so small, but on the contrary possibly quite huge – giving consumers an easy way to communicate their experiences and thoughts on websites and services, side by side of whatever website they are visiting. I’m guessing quite a few web masters of dodgy websites will be nervous of its launch, but also honest and hard working online marketers might worry about the possible ramifications of these un-screened consumer raves and rants splattered all over to their shop fronts.

Jeremiah Owyang has as usual some really interesting thoughts to share on the topic.

Jeremiah Owyang has as usual some really interesting thoughts to share on the topic, of which I think the first concept to grasp is:

Recognize that you don’t own your corporate website – your customers do

What do you think? Will this plugin gain general traction and become a real power shifter, or is just yet another interesting concept (for which Google is certainly not first), but at least biggest?

Update 14 October: Malcolm Coles has written a brilliant post regarding Sidewiki, Carter Ruck and the Trafigura injunction that highlights the possibilities of Sidewiki.

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Is Google Social Search the Next Big Social Networking Site? | Magnus Nilsson on Digital Marketing
October 29, 2009 at 12:26 pm


Johan September 25, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Hmm, not sure this would be appreciated by all corps. People tend to focus on the negative instead of the positive. Not sure I would want this on my site.

Magnus September 28, 2009 at 11:09 am

I’m sure you’re right. Although this particular tool might not take of immediately, corps on all levels need to start seriously thinking about social and how they are going to engage in a dialogue. What you don’t want happen is as a company to go head-to-head against “change” as that’s a loosing battle (as the record companies have experienced).

Brian J Kopp October 2, 2009 at 2:38 am

I love the idea of allowing customer to contribute to a corporate web site or product page, but realize that with certain regulatory laws a company should have the final say regarding content presented in these mechanisms. Working for a medical device company, we cannot allow off-label product use to be promoted. We would need a process for either editing or removing any given comments that would violate these laws enforced by the FDA, or we need the ability to turn these features off.

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