Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): Access denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) in /home/ploked/public_html/wp-content/plugins/seopower/seopower.php on line 759

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/ploked/public_html/wp-content/plugins/seopower/seopower.php on line 759

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): Access denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) in /home/ploked/public_html/wp-content/plugins/seopower/seopower.php on line 759

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/ploked/public_html/wp-content/plugins/seopower/seopower.php on line 759

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/ploked/public_html/wp-content/plugins/seopower/seopower.php:759) in /home/ploked/public_html/wp-content/plugins/wp-greet-box/includes/wp-greet-box.class.php on line 493
Google Sidewiki | ploked.com

Google Sidewiki: The New Wikipedia or A Brand Nightmare?

September 25th, 2009 |

About

Interactive Marketing Consultant for The Ocean Agency, recent college graduate, and fan of all things social, whether online or off. To find out more about what I do online, go here

The internets are abuzz with news about Google Sidewiki. For those who haven’t heard, it’s the newest addition to the Google Toolbar addon to Firefox or Chrome that allows for real-time sidebar comments on any webpage:

This seems like a great way to bring real time to every webpage right? Well, a lot of people are freaking out. In the Google example above the commenter shares some nice tidbits of information that could really help you plan your trip to San Francisco! Is this how the internet actually works?

Well, sort of. For every “Susan Taing” there will be 10 spammers/marketers who will be posting deals on the wiki or trying to direct viewers to their affiliate program or fake blog about whitening their teeth at home or getting ripped.

Some are worried that Sidewiki pages will be used to hijack brands. For example, this morining on the Sidewiki attached to the Apple.com page, users wrote about the “true cost of creating an iphone.” Can you imagine what will be posted on the Walmart.com page?

To stop Sidewiki from being a brand nightmare and a haven for spammers Google needs to figure out a way to verify the conversation.

Before you argue that there is no way for Google to stop spammers from exploiting Sidewiki, I want you think think about Wikipedia. Wikipedia has become one of the most trusted and reliable sources of information in human history. They have serious peer editors that pride themselves on preserving the purity and accuracy of information.

Imagine if Google could build up passionate supporters to do this for Sidewiki. Essentially, in the foreseeable future, you could have accurate and helpful information next to every major web-page you visit. Basically you’d have a constantly updating Wikipedia page that would follow you around the web. This excites me.

So what will be the reality of Sidewiki? Will it be the latest haven for spammers and marketers or will it become the next great source of user-generated information and content?

Be Sociable, Share!
Be Sociable, Share!
4
Daniel Prager
  • http://www.swikiblocker.com Catalin

    Hi Daniel,

    The SideWiki feature isn’t evil in itself, but is quite open to abuse and spam in it’s current implementation.

    There’s nothing that prevents me from leaving a comment or more on this page, or thousands others, and it may be days if not weeks before they are noticed.

    And herein lies the big difference between this and Wikipedia. In Wikipedia, you can dedicate some of your free time to look after a certain page, or area, that you’re passionate about.

    There is underlying technology that notifies you when those pages are edited, and there’s a history of past versions to which you can easily revert to if you don’t approve the change.

    That is why the community can be an effective moderator of a site like Wikipedia.

    Unfortunately there’s no way to do the same with Google’s SideWiki. There’s no place where you can say you’re interested in raising tomatoes, and get notified when someone posts a SideWiki comment on a tomato raising site, so you can’t check out and moderate.

    It’s up to the random surfer to down vote a comment on the page they’re seeing, and if the comment is cleverly enough written it may even get a thumbs up even though the information is plain wrong.

    Until Google will adapt the technology to offer some kind of moderation queue, or an opt-out to webmasters, I’ve created a program that is very easy to install on any kind of site and will effectively hide any SideWiki comments left by surfers.

    If this is something that could be of interest to you or your readers, you can find out more here:

    http://www.swikiblocker.com

    There’s more than one way to skin a cat, but I’m a firm believer webmasters ought to be informed about the pitfalls and benefits, and have a choice. That I tried to offer when creating it.

    Thanks.

  • http://www.warriorforum.com/blogs/rayray7/8778-history-ways-avoid-nigerian-419-scam.html Timothy Lawton

    I will not debate with your conclusions because I think you’re exact on the money! You have put together a valid case for your sentiments and now I know more about this unusual topic. Thanks for this excellent post and i will come back for more.

  • http://twitter.com/KaylaWildflower KaylaWildflower

    This website, (and this is only one page of it,) presents the case that Wikipedia may not be as reliable as we think. http://www.mywikibiz.com/Top_10_Reasons_Not_to_Donate_to_Wikipedia

  • http://www.warriorforum.com/blogs/rayray7/8778-history-ways-avoid-nigerian-419-scam.html Timothy Lawton

    I will not debate with your conclusions because I think you're exact on the money! You have put together a valid case for your sentiments and now I know more about this unusual topic. Thanks for this excellent post and i will come back for more.