Never surf alone with the new Google Sidewiki—your sidekick for social commenting.

September 23rd, 2009 Written by

Surfing the web can be pretty intense with the proliferation of information on the web these days. Accessing that information has gotten even easier with social tools like Twitter. And with this rise in information is a rise in garbage. Luckily, the web has been transforming into an online community that looks after itself. How, you might ask?

Enter Google Sidewiki, a social network on its own that gives web surfers an online community that provides commentary from Google users about specific pages.

Some example uses:

  • Expert insights on political issues
  • Helpful tips when browsing for a car
  • Background or historical information on a research topic
  • Added perspective on the latest gadgets
  • Adding rich content to your Blogger blog from sites of interest

To illustrate how this works, we downloaded this Firefox-enabled application. After the proper add-on installation (takes about 10 seconds), we took the app for a spin on the Google Blog site.

When we click the Sidewiki button on the Google toolbar, we see a ton of social comments about this particular page. To hide the sidebar, just simply click the arrow keys and the sidebar is collapsed into a thin blue bar. When you visit a new site, you can uncollapse the bar and see what other Google users are saying about the site.

Comments on the Google Blog page from various visitors

Additionally, you can broadcast information you find on web pages by selecting from the Sidewiki drop-down menu the “Write an entry” option. Here you can write your own comment and post to Blogger.

Add your own comments and post to Blogger

And here’s a video:

So now, as you are surfing the lonely ocean of the web, you have a community surfing with you that can help guide you as you brave the waves.

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