Google launched a new toolbar addon today called SideWiki for Firefox which integrates to your Google toolbar.
Basically it adds in a panel to the side of the browser and allows you to do some pretty cool features regarding commenting on a post, article or even a specific piece of text or information.
All of the comments are aligned with your gmail account so its all “networked” back to your google profile, so thats a nice feature as well, but Im beginning to wonder if the good will be out weighed by the bad at some point.
Heres what has occured to me as being somewhat negative and is worrying me a little, though it is early days:
1. The sideWiki allows comments to be made on any page in the site on any piece of information but it DOES not notify the site owner that a comment has been made, so it will prove to be impossible to reply to sidewiki comments on larger sites.
2. Community is diluted in the site itself as the option to comment directly on the post has basically been liquidated. I can effectively comment on any page anywhere.
3. I cannot moderate the comments, so spam is already a worry, but also, the opportunites for untrue or even slanderous comments is wide open and must be a serious worry for businesses. (I dont worry about arguements, love them actually but its difficult to enjoy one if I dont know it exists –> see point 1).
4. SEO wise, I really cant see what effect this will or would have on a site directly and how open the whole thing is to manipulation. Will play a little more on the weekend with it and see what conclusions I can draw.
Anyone else got anything to add?
(I wonder how many of you smart alec’s will add your comments to the sidewiki instead of the comments on this post… :P)