Google Sidewiki: Overview and Recommendations

Google has launched a new feature called "Google Sidewiki" which allows anyone using the Google Toolbar in their browser to leave comments about pages as they surf the web. Love something you’re reading? Hate it? You can share your views with others who visit the page and who also have Sidewiki enabled.

Sidewiki now exists on nine pharmaceutical company’s home pages and it’s only a matter of time before an entry is created for your organization or client.  To date, no company has made their own entry on the Sidewiki or moved to correct misinformation while sidewiki’s have also begun to appear on some medical product home pages.

Here’s Google’s take on Sidewiki.

Monitoring emerging channels such as this are going to be more and more important – especially for highly regulated industries – if they are tied as closely to the corporate Web site as Google’s Sidewiki is… For one of those highly regulated industries, i.e. the pharmaceutical industry, monitoring doesn’t need to mean onerous adverse event reporting – one of my colleagues has developed an overview of a study which clearly outlines, in practical terms, what social media monitoring means to corporate communicators within the pharma space. (contact me for a copy of this)

So what should you do?

Now you know all about it, but what can you do about it? Former colleague Tom Barnes shared these great tips on Twitter:

  1. For the love of all things holy: Get there first
  2. Welcome constructive comments in sidewiki itself
  3. Monitor continually
  4. Report every abuse
  5. Follow traditional crisis management fundamentals. Plan messaging in advance

All great examples and ones that I would recommend you follow for either your brand or clients.

So what does this actually look like in brass tacks? Well, while you should never use yourself or your peers as a case study, I like what Dave Jones has done on his blog, despite not loving Sidewiki itself.

Dave Jone Sidewiki

The copy says:

Hi, there. You’ve clearly made your way to my blog and also found the Google Sidewiki. I’m not a huge fan of this feature as it takes away from the public dialogue I welcome in my blog comments. But if you must use it, I hope you’ll take a look at my Blog Policy http://davejones.ca/blog-policy/ first.

The policy explains what’s acceptable and not acceptable on my blog. I can’t control what you write on the Sidewiki, but I’m hopeful that you’ll follow the spirit of my comment policy.

I hope you find some interesting stuff on my blog. If it makes you think, makes you angry or makes you want to say something to me or the other readers, then feel free to post something in the comments on the post or on Twitter. That’s still the best way to get in touch.

Dave (@doctorjones)

A nice way to welcome people to the Sidewiki and to lay out some rules of engagement. By getting there first, you at least have the chance to direct the conversation, even if you can never own it. (I’ve done something similar on my blog – you just need Sidewiki to see it)

11 Responses to Google Sidewiki: Overview and Recommendations

  1. […] 2009-10-26T17:52:05  Quick look at Sidewiki for communicators: [link to post] […]

  2. David Jones says:

    I enjoyed your take. I’ll be interested in any legal opinions on Sidewiki. There are several points of view and very little common ground as to who owns the conversation on/around/layered/bolted on to their domain.

  3. […] my quick take on google sidewiki and what to do about it: [link to post] (tips courtesy of […]

  4. […] I came across Ed Lee’s post about Google Sidewiki, along with his recommendations. In it, he calls attention to Dave Jones, VP […]

  5. […] 2009-10-29T08:10:34  RT @martinwaxman: To Sidewiki or not to Sidewiki – a good perspective from @edlee [link to post] […]

  6. […] 2009-10-29T09:33:34  To Sidewiki or not to Sidewiki – a good perspective from @edlee [link to post] […]

  7. […] To Sidewiki or not to Sidewiki – a good perspective from @edlee [link to post] (RT […]

  8. […] FYI #irchat @Fara_SA RT @Ms_Write To Sidewiki or not to Sidewiki-a good perspective from @edlee [link to post] (RT @martinwaxman […]

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