Today, Google mentioned on its blog that it has been 2 months since the company officially launched Google Sidewiki — the feature that appears as a browser sidebar, where you can read and write entries along the side of any website.
50 days into the launch, Google felt compelled to share some of those entries. Here’s an excerpt from the post:
“We’ve been really excited by these uses of Sidewiki and wanted to share 10 of these great entries with you:
- Jason Young speaks from personal experience and gives detailed insight into tuning a bass guitaron EMG’s Bass Tips site.
- Antony Carthy, a programmer in South Africa, wrote tips on how to find latitude and longitude coordinates on Google Maps.
- Google’s own Matt Cutts warns visitors about a deceptive website.
- Shalin Gala of PETA calls on readers to sign a petition next to an article about animal mistreatment.
- Ron Burk suggests a missing reference for a medical article.”
We cut that short at 5 because it was getting too emotional.
So, in the spirit of showing both sides to every story, we’ve highlighted just a few comments that lean towards the “not so happy” side and appear on the open corporate websites:
- A Citibank customer notes that a few late payments resulted in a jacked up credit card rate even after three years of service
- This shopper had some problems with Best Buy hiding opened factory seals and discussed it via a long entry on their website
- A visitor to Amazon.com mentions that they don’t correctly print specific shipping labels, returning packages often to the sender
Now, don’t get me wrong, Sidewiki is a great way for web users to spotlight various events, or point to interesting content and even help others. However, I can’t resist seeing the darker side – anyone, anywhere can say whatever they want on any website. That’s a potential threat the branding and reputation, and could also have implications for advertising.
Of course, if there are any hecklers reading this post, you don’t have to fiddle with Sidewiki — just go straight to the comments.