Google Launches New Service – Sidewiki

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Google has announced a new project that basically allows users to comment on pretty much any website they find themselves on through a specialised “Sidewiki” toolbar.

Google SideWiki

Google always seems to have a tremendous number of projects on the go at once, but from time to time those projects become something that could genuinely change the way we work with and use the web. The basic principle behind Sidewiki is one of those ideas that’s been floating around for a long time, but it takes a company the size of Google to really push it.

Sidewiki is basically just a sidebar that sits in your browser (soon to be installed by default in Google’s Chrome) and lets you leave comments on whatever page you’re viewing when you invoke it. It could well prove particularly useful for users looking for a way to comment on pages that don’t normally allow comments.

Naturally, there are going to be some users who’s input will be more or less useful than others, and Google has built in features to reflect the usefulness of various comments. Google describes the setup Sidewiki uses,

“In developing Sidewiki, we wanted to make sure that you’ll see the most relevant entries first. We worked hard from the beginning to figure out which ones should appear on top and how to best order them. So instead of displaying the most recent entries first, we rank Sidewiki entries using an algorithm that promotes the most useful, high quality entries. It takes into account feedback from you and other users, previous entries made by the same author and many other signals we’ve developed.”

It’s interesting to consider the idea that a Google user’s general reputation could well contribute to the placement of their comments even on articles outside their field of expertise.

If you’re at all interested, you should have a look at Google Sidewiki itself. If you’d like to read more before you check it out, have a look at the Sidewiki post on Google’s blog.

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2 Responses to “Google Launches New Service – Sidewiki”

  1. Oisin Says:

    Does anyone else not find it funny that on the day they launch this its not available for google chrome!

    • komplettie Says:

      Yeah, very strange, but I believe they’re already putting together a Chromium build for it, so I imagine the version of Chrome with Sidewiki support built in will be along soon 🙂

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