Business, Arts, Potpourri, Entertainment, Science, Fun, Trends, Google, Games, Auto, Telecom, Photos, Society, Celebrity, News, Technology, Internet, Web, Legal, Health, Software, Travel, Love, Finance, Greetings, Quotations, Sports, Shopping, Recreation, Resources.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Sidewiki, Google Sidewiki - controversial new device from google toolbar for public comment on websites

Called Google Sidewiki, the device is integrated in the latest version of Google Toolbar and works with both Firefox and Web Explorer but ironically, not yet Google Chrome. To use Sidewiki, download the latest version of the Google Toolbar and set it to enhanced.

Google has launched a controversial new device that allows the public to comment on any web-site in a side bar displayed in their browser.

When activated, Sidewiki slides across from the left and becomes a browser sidebar, where you can write entries in a vertical column and read the entries of others. To activate Sidewiki, you basically click on the Sidewiki button in your Toolbar menu or the tiny talk bubble on the left hand side of your screen.

It appears that persons can read the Sidewiki comments sent by link whether we have Sidewiki installed or not. When you're logged in to Sidewiki, you'll always see your comments at the top and any others below.

If you have got a Google profile, your picture will appear next to your Sidewiki entry. You can either highlight a definite part of a web page, click the Sidewiki button and comment about it, or you can make a general comment about the entire web page. If you have got Sidewiki installed, you can see comments made on the same web-site by other members of the public and you can forward your Sidewiki comments to colleagues, friends and relatives by direct link, email, Twitter or Facebook.

"Under the hood, we have even more technology that will take your entry about the current page and show it next to webpages that contain the same snippet of text. For example, an entry on a speech by President Obama will appear on all webpages that include the same quote. We also bring in relevant posts from blogs and other sources that talk about the current page so that you can discover their insights more easily, right next to the page we refer to."

Not only does your Sidewiki entry appear on the original page, but if you have highlighted text, your entry also appears on any webpages that contain the same snippet of text that your comment is about. From the official blog post:

"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 in to account feedback from you and other users, previous entries made by the same author and lots of other signals we developed."

than viewing them in the order in which we were written, Sidewiki entries are ranked by an algorithm determined by Google:

Google have also launched an API that allows developers to work freely with the content created in Sidewiki. Where no comments have been made on a web page, Google may show blog results relating to that page.

The technology used to decide ranking involves large-scale graph computing but other factors are at play, as revealed by Danny Sullivan in his post about Sidewiki. These include use of sophisticated language, complex sentences and ideas, user reputation and user history as revealed by your Google profile and comment contributions. Your comments and others can be thumbed up or down using the "useful - yes or no?" device, or reported as abuse, further contributing to your user reputation and "Profile Rank" as Danny calls it.

The potential applications of Sidewiki are interesting and frightening simultaneously. For example, I can see how it could be a useful bookmarking device, allowing you to make notes about a web-site you have found which you could refer to later. You can even embed YouTube videos in Sidewiki (take a look at the Google home page to see this in action).

It also has fantastic potential as an online collaboration device, letting you annotate the pages on a site in conjunction with team members in a similar way to tracking changes in a MS Word document and sharing document versions by Google Docs.

Sidewiki has a nice chance of being spammed by spammers if it is not well controlled.Sidewiki has program policies but spammers don't care about those and trolls don't read them. Besides, one man's graffiti is another man's gospel.

-Article by Kalena Jordan

No comments: