Saturday, January 2, 2010

Google puts democracy to the whole WWW

Today I learned about Google Sidewiki, a tool enabling any google user with a public profile to comment on any website in the internet as easy as editing a wikipedia article. Though not  perfect yet and much critized, it presents a quite powerful feature to a more transparent Internet and the opportunity to raise quality by faciliate controverse discussion about any topic.
Of course, there is a lot of protest from site-owners, who finally have to understand, that after all that hype of user generated content, users will sooner or later will have more power then in any other media, making it more difficult to manipulate freedom of speech or mindsets in favor of capital backed interest groups.

And of course, it is a challenge for any PR-Department to rethink public communications strategy, in a world where everyone can criticize or blame you with no more cost then a few mouse clicks, but it is quite fair to convince users, readers or customers by quality content and as we know from Wikipedia, there is a lot more quality content then Fraud.  Finally the possibility of easy and uncensored feedback will suceed, because it is a time saver. Once more Google takes a strategic good position. Anyhow there are still some issues that have to be solved until Google wins that market.

1. No restriction to Google-Toolbar or browsers with Google Toolbar!
2. The same level of spam protection Gmail offers (also Filter for 2 word feedback text etc.) to show more quality comments then web logs do.
3. Some intelligence that offers predefined feedback quick-feedback depending on website content (Google knows quite well, if I am visiting a Hotel- Website or a Shoe store).
4. More presence and promotion.
5. More focus on user-identity (fake-checks etc.)

Finally the same tools applied to wikipedia would mean a big jump in quality in  wikipedia. Once application leaves its nerd status and gets more easy to use, I see a bigh chance in raising quality of web content.

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