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Google SideWiki Brings Comments To Everyone

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the obvious-things-are-hard-to-get-right dept.

Google 221

Rophuine writes "Google has launched a product called SideWiki. It takes the form of a plug-in to Firefox and Internet Explorer which allows users to mark up the web by adding comments which can be seen by anyone else running SideWiki." Google's version joins a long line of attempts to impose a layer of comments on the Web, including Microsoft's Smart Tags and Third Voice.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

I had an idea like this once (0, Redundant)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | about 5 years ago | (#29530711)

About 12 years ago, I had the thought that it would be great if there was a way to annotate any web page, and make the annotations viewable by others. I never could figure out how it would actually work, but I'm glad to see that something like my concept has come to fruitition.

Re:I had an idea like this once (3, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | about 5 years ago | (#29530873)

There has been hundreds of such plugins for both IE and FF for ever. The problem with them is that they're not build in to the browser and no one uses them. Its quite possible it would be really small amount of users using it even if it was build-in, since its not really why the users are there on the site and it just forgots. It would probably be full of "nice site", "hi everybody!" and "first!1!" comments too.

Re:I had an idea like this once (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 5 years ago | (#29531921)

Love the examples in TFA: Michael Roizen: Food does more than affect the waist size... and Dean Ornish: Stress also contributes to heart disease; the information presented here is incomplete...

Here's what'll actually happen in such an article:

User: Ooh! I wonder what Dean ornish says on SideWiki (clicks link)

"Dr. Dean Ornish: Hey, hot stuff! I'm horny and in Buffalo, too! Wanna get together? Click here."

Times 1000.

Re:I had an idea like this once (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531151)

You realize that because you 'had the idea' before Google launched the actual implentation you now, per Slashdot convention, can claim that Google has not done anything new or novel.

This is generally applied to Apple and Microsoft and their predecessors are typically sci-fi writers or something Stallman wrote or a lecture someone once heard somewhere. The tie in is often tenuous, and the credit valid only at Slashdot and your local LUG meeting, but valuable nonetheless.

Not sure how well it will go over with Google as the target though. Lots of love here for them.

1960: Ted Nelson, Project Xanadu (2, Informative)

spun (1352) | about 5 years ago | (#29531157)

Yes, it's a great idea, the only problem is making it actually work. Some folks have been trying for almost fifty years. [wikipedia.org]

Re:I had an idea like this once (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531401)

I had an idea once. It was a mat. With different conclusions written on it. That you could jump to.

Re:I had an idea like this once (0, Redundant)

RazzleDazzle (442937) | about 5 years ago | (#29531425)

Really? You had an idea once? Well alright! Did it involve various conclusions on floor mat?

Re:I had an idea like this once (2, Interesting)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 5 years ago | (#29531621)

Actually XMosaic did contain annotation functionality. You could add personal annotations to a web page (which could be seen only by yourself), and you could also add public annotations (but I think the web site would have had to cooperate).

Google SideWiki (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29530717)

also brings the ability to show everyone that Rob Malda' is hung like a toddler.

"this sucks" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29530719)

itll be 99% 0f the comments especially on slashdot

Re:"this sucks" (2, Insightful)

plover (150551) | about 5 years ago | (#29530895)

itll be 99% 0f the comments especially on slashdot

Actually it'll be "this sucks-beta".

Suck this spam, voters (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 5 years ago | (#29531537)

Cue the musical vikings: spam spam spam spam. Followed by the dancing astroturfers, posturing political whiners, beggars of all descriptions, and every other audience-seeker that sane audiences are trying to avoid. Popular sites will see their popularity getting hijacked in service of idiot causes and losers that deserve to stay in their present obscurity.
Of course, we'll need another Firefox add-in to block crap from known sleazebags and protect from the malignant content that will turn out to be embeddable (scripts, nasty links, etc.) in this SideWanki.

Re:"this sucks" (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | about 5 years ago | (#29531369)

Other websites won't have it so bad! They'll just have 99% spam.

Misnamed product (5, Insightful)

Lord Grey (463613) | about 5 years ago | (#29530721)

To clarify, SideWiki requires the Google Toolbar, which itself requires IE6 (or later) or Firefox 2 (or later).

The headline on Google's Get Google Sidewiki [google.com] page reads, "Contribute helpful information to any web page." Yet this is being released to the general public, which is the same group that is responsible for most of the crap already on the internet. SideWiki should probably be renamed to Creeping Crud (hello, Wizardry fans) to more accurately describe the end result. But hey, you have to run SideWiki in order to see other SideWiki users' crud, so I guess it's a closed universe and therefore okay.

Re:Misnamed product (1)

Selfbain (624722) | about 5 years ago | (#29530859)

I still have nightmares from Wizardry 7.

Re:Misnamed product - should be Virtual Kudzu (1)

DriveDog (822962) | about 5 years ago | (#29530993)

I've tried but failed to successfully remove the plugin that allows me to see real kudzu.

Re:Misnamed product (1)

bubba318i (1643759) | about 5 years ago | (#29531037)

They should rename this product side douche! This is an interesting idea, but will be ruined by advertisers, spammers, and douche bags peddling their blogs, websites, videos, tweets and whatever else these crazy kids do on the internet. No I don't wanna buy extenze, no I don't care that you twittered that you were twittering! I'll stick to the comments section on websites.

Re:Misnamed product (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | about 5 years ago | (#29531267)

accurately describe the end result

To augment your position, I believe the above describes an ability most end users lack in the first place. The quality of the output will probably be akin to the music produced by hooking an amplifier up to a microphone while recording a garbage disposal unit choking on a fork.

Re:Misnamed product (2, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | about 5 years ago | (#29531417)

I'd give it a shot but I really don't want Google Toolbar on my browser.

Re:Misnamed product (0)

ajs (35943) | about 5 years ago | (#29531775)

Yes, because that might... wait, what might that do? Give you additional, optional UI elements (all of which can be trivially turned off) and give you the (again, optional) ability to feed back stats to Google for use in user-specific features such as Web history and generic features such as feeding in to PageRank. Where's the problem, exactly?

As far as it being full of noise, it's moderated by a user-managed system much like Slashdot, so in the same way that highly rated comments on Slashdot tend to be a notch or two above the background noise, I would expect a similar level of value from Sidewiki.

Re:Misnamed product (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531777)

Well, I doubt the general public will be interested in the same things I am interested in. And they probably don't even go the same sites I frequent.
 
Let them add whatever they want to some random yahoo page, it's unlikely that I'm going to ever stumble upon it. However, I think I'm going to like comments on some article about new technology or scientific breakthrough.

No more than a tech demo (5, Interesting)

Raindance (680694) | about 5 years ago | (#29530729)

Despite the name, Sidewiki is not a wiki such that people can edit, prune, and synthesize information, nor is it moderated in any way. It's just a comment system, with no way to amplify the signal vs the noise. It's also unclear how people are supposed to use it- e.g., what to post (which is a significant failing imo). Interesting as an approach to layer user comments onto webpages, but not useful yet. Arstechnica pretty much nailed it with the following:

This new offering from Google is intriguing in some ways and it shows that the company is thinking creatively about how to build dialog and additional value around existing content. The scope and utility of the service seems a bit narrow. The random nature of the existing annotations suggest that the quality and depth of the user-contributed content will be roughly equivalent with the comments that people post about pages at aggregation sites like Digg and Reddit.
What makes Wikipedia content useful is the ability of editors to delete the crap and restructure the existing material to provide something of value. Without the ability to do that with Sidewiki, it's really little more than a glorified comment system and probably should have been built as such. As it stands, I think that most users will just be confused about what kind annotations they should post.

Re:No more than a tech demo (1)

vertinox (846076) | about 5 years ago | (#29530909)

It's just a comment system, with no way to amplify the signal vs the noise.

If it is anything like Google Groups... It will be nothing but spam.

Seriously... I must have reported over 500 spam posts with no response on the finance forums.

Re:No more than a tech demo (1)

Threni (635302) | about 5 years ago | (#29531457)

> Seriously... I must have reported over 500 spam posts with no response on the finance forums.

Exactly. Even Gmail spam has been getting worse for the last...well, year or so.

Yahoo groups is ending up being the host of a few Usenet groups because of the level of spam coming from Gmail accounts, and other Usenet groups consist of messages with sigfiles suggesting that all posts via Google Groups are killfilled.

Re:No more than a tech demo (1)

Splab (574204) | about 5 years ago | (#29530999)

Two words:
First post!

Thats what they will add - hordes of idiots scouting the web for places to write first post.

Re:No more than a tech demo (4, Funny)

StikyPad (445176) | about 5 years ago | (#29531141)

It's just a comment system, with no way to amplify the signal vs the noise.

Yo dawg, we'll just put a comment system in the comment system so we can comment on the comments on the web page while we comment on the web page.

Re:No more than a tech demo (0, Offtopic)

oldhack (1037484) | about 5 years ago | (#29531393)

Hey, mods, sprinkle some "insightful" mod points to the post above.

Re:No more than a tech demo (1)

ajs (35943) | about 5 years ago | (#29531831)

Despite the name, Sidewiki is not a wiki such that people can edit, prune, and synthesize information, nor is it moderated in any way.

As you will note if you turn on Sidewiki for this page, you're incorrect. Users are (what seems to be like randomly) selected to moderate comments in a "useful/not useful" fashion.

Slashdot: the strawman construction engine.

Terrific. (5, Insightful)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | about 5 years ago | (#29530737)

A whole new way to astroturf.

Re:Terrific. (1)

owlnation (858981) | about 5 years ago | (#29530943)

A whole new way to astroturf.

No kidding! Imagine surfing to a web page selling something, only to find a comment telling you can get something cheaper elsewhere. Or any other similar type of thing.

Considering wikipedia is absolutely stuffed full of astroturf, why does anyone think this will end up any different?

Looks like just another of these ideas that will start off nobly, but rapidly descend into commercial Hell and lawsuits.

Re:Terrific. (3, Insightful)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | about 5 years ago | (#29531099)

And spam. Lots and lots of spam

Re:Terrific. (1)

natehoy (1608657) | about 5 years ago | (#29531153)

Which is great. Because it'll get the turf herders distracted by a whole new channel. One that I don't have to look at. Google will bring massive resources to bear destroying the spammers and turfers, the spammers and turfers will all put massive effort into spewing their seed into it, and all of that effort might make a few spammers too busy to try and hack my PHP-Nuke site for a week or so.

WARNING: POSSIBLE SPAM --- Though, I'd like to take a moment and lay some down some astroturf for NukeSentinel, because I spend a lot less time preventing damage to my site now... In fact, almost none. :)

You know, this just occurred to me. Google must know this. I wonder if this is a way to gather spam samples on a different channel to better isolate them, as part of upgrading their spam detection engines? Hmmm.....

No Chrome? (5, Interesting)

francisstp (1137345) | about 5 years ago | (#29530745)

It takes the form of a plug-in to Firefox and Internet Explorer

What, Google aren't even releasing plug-ins for their own browser first? What kind of endorsement is that?

Re:No Chrome? (4, Informative)

Traegorn (856071) | about 5 years ago | (#29530843)

Chrome will support it built in to the new version.

Re:No Chrome? (5, Interesting)

Syniurge (1550185) | about 5 years ago | (#29531429)

Chrome will support it built in to the new version.

Hmm, wrong:

Peter Kasting says
From the article: "It will also eventually be integrated into Google's Chrome Web browser."

I am a Chromium developer, and as far as I know, this is untrue; I believe the hope is to make this a Chrome extension, not something that's part of the base product.

(from the Ars Technica comments)

Re:No Chrome? (1)

Zerth (26112) | about 5 years ago | (#29530889)

See as they don't really support plugins in the current version, that'd be a bit hard.

Next release has it. I think you can even get the alpha of it, but I'm waiting for the 28th.

Re:No Chrome? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531317)

Sorry, Chrome supports plugins. The problem is almost no one has written plugins yet. I'm currently using a beta version of the X-Marks plugin on the stable version of Chrome.

One thing though.... (3, Funny)

Bicx (1042846) | about 5 years ago | (#29530761)

Before this can be truly successful, there needs to be a feature which blocks all comments which can be traced back to active members of 4chan or Youtube.

Re:One thing though.... (4, Funny)

PotatoFarmer (1250696) | about 5 years ago | (#29530915)

You should also be able to comment on the comments. I propose a new "SideSideWiki" plugin to handle this problem.

Re:One thing though.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531373)

Mod SideWiki's Side Comment up! Yes, that's right - it needs a moderation system or the signal to noise ration will be so bad as to make it useless.

Re:One thing though.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531395)

I LOLed

Oh goody. Youtube comments everywhere (5, Interesting)

dschl (57168) | about 5 years ago | (#29530791)

Experience has provided me with some skepticism regarding the intelligence of crowds. This Sidewiki would be like having a running commentary on the web, written by the same type of people who write Youtube comments and -1 rated comments on Slashdot.

Thanks, but no thanks. Hope that one dies in beta, unless they figure out how to filter out the crap, and bring the valuable contributions to the top. They could start by testing their filters on Youtube.

SpamWiki (1)

d474 (695126) | about 5 years ago | (#29530905)

What about all the spam that comes through comments? Now why would Google create another way for advertisers to....oh, wait...

Re:Oh goody. Youtube comments everywhere (2, Interesting)

Anonymusing (1450747) | about 5 years ago | (#29531059)

The only way this could work is if site owners could somehow manage the content, perhaps by authorizing some users to leave comments. Or perhaps they'll work it like Adwords, where the highest-paying contributor is listed first -- and maybe the site is paying for that. Or there would be some kind of vetting process for contributors.

Never mind. You're right, it will never work.

Re:Oh goody. Youtube comments everywhere (3, Funny)

yurtinus (1590157) | about 5 years ago | (#29531077)

Oh god.... what's going to happen in the Sidewiki comments on YouTube?

Re:Oh goody. Youtube comments everywhere (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531177)

the stupid will become so dense that it will create a singularity.

Re:Oh goody. Youtube comments everywhere (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 5 years ago | (#29531661)

Oh god.... what's going to happen in the Sidewiki comments on YouTube?

Or... imagine the SideWanki comments on FaceBook or MySpace.
The mind boggles at the potential for sustained vacuity.

Re:Oh goody. Youtube comments everywhere (1)

Bicx (1042846) | about 5 years ago | (#29531197)

SideWiki could definitely benefit from a Rating/Karma system like Slashdot's. However, if the filters are too biased toward power users, then new SideWiki users may not even bother commenting

Re:Oh goody. Youtube comments everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531229)

...who write Youtube comments and -1 rated comments on Slashdot.

I have to object to that one. -1 comments may be crap, but at least the trolls here are capable of exercising more than a modicum of intelligence, and more often that not, a more than functional grasp of the English language.

I pray to whatever powers that be - be they deity, or just a supreme, unseen intelligence - that anthropologists millions of years down the road never, ever, dig up whatever boxes host all that is Youtube related. It's far too accurate a watermark of where we are as a species, and it's embarrassing as fuck-all.

Re:Oh goody. Youtube comments everywhere (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | about 5 years ago | (#29531253)

You forgot all the "Looking for dates! Got to www.spamforlife.com!!!!" or "Get v1gr@a!! Cheep! You long tool now!" ads that will clog every other comment. Very few sites ever maintain their comments.

How to resolve Troll comments (2, Insightful)

JoshDM (741866) | about 5 years ago | (#29531339)

Add a rating system, not unlike Amazon has for it's products. Basically, viewers can rate the comments up or down; significantly negative comments will eventually be eaten by the system. Significantly good comments will be presented in order of appearance. Additionally, it would be good to have a section presenting the 3 comments with the fewest votes, so the viewer would be likely to add his own vote to those.

Re:Oh goody. Youtube comments everywhere (1)

jittles (1613415) | about 5 years ago | (#29531349)

lol this is google! Every app they publish lives and dies in beta! :P

No, not to everyone... (0, Troll)

pohl (872) | about 5 years ago | (#29530819)

...only works with IE and FF.

Re:No, not to everyone... (2, Funny)

AP31R0N (723649) | about 5 years ago | (#29531595)

Everyone worthwhile, then.

No Thanks. (3, Insightful)

swanzilla (1458281) | about 5 years ago | (#29530845)

Cluttered browser window + Wiki nonsense != desirable plug-in

Comments... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29530925)

They show the world just how ignorant and stupid the rest of the world is. Kind've makes you wonder how we got this far with civilization.

Mission Implausible (4, Insightful)

PeanutButterBreath (1224570) | about 5 years ago | (#29530957)

Hard to see how this would be useful without moderation. Hard to see how moderation could be implemented in a practical way.

Re:Mission Implausible (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531385)

It would be useful in a corporate environment where the public isn't involved. We've had our own system to do this since at least 2000 for mock-ups and prototypes. It was a good competitive advantage back in the day. Still is, although it's less unique now.

Re:Mission Implausible (1)

mathx314 (1365325) | about 5 years ago | (#29531569)

It doesn't seem like it would be that tough to me. Include a thumbs-up/thumbs-down system like YouTube has. Allow users to set their own threshold, or alternatively set it up so that the number of down-votes it takes to hide a comment is proportional to the number of visitors. That'll prevent just a few douchebags from hiding valuable comments on a frequently-visited site while still letting a group of friends delete spambots from their personal site.

Sync With Other Commenting Apps (2, Insightful)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | about 5 years ago | (#29531007)

When I first read about this (after reading this summary) it seemed somewhat intriguing. Who knows, perhaps it could allow some useful knowledge to be slapped on some of the webpages and articles on the internet that are scant on details or technical info. However, after looking at the download page of this little plugin, it appears that you can sync this service with " Blogger, Facebook, Twitter and Google profiles" which means, to me at least, that if I am reading an article regarding a new possible HIV vaccine, rather than have helpful comments with related studies and scientific journal entries attached to it, the article will instead hemorrhage a barrage of comments that have to do with people fearing getting AIDS from public restroom toilet seats and the "ZOMG 70ta11y @w3some HAWT girl the b@ng3d at a 9427y last night"....who had AIDS....

Sad and lame.

SearchWiki (2, Interesting)

FornaxChemica (968594) | about 5 years ago | (#29531009)

Google Search already has the SearchWiki [slashdot.org] that doesn't seem overly popular because no one remembers it exists when writing about the "new" feature. Wasn't it already supposed to "bring comments to everyone"? I think people are just not interested in commenting websites, or rather, the ones posting comments won't be doctors and academics as shown in their example. Google lives in an ideal world where comments are relevant.

Re:SearchWiki (1)

Eddy Luten (1166889) | about 5 years ago | (#29531089)

Don't forget about knol [google.com] , another wiki-like project.

In Gulag U.S.A. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531011)

Comments bring YOU to Google.

Yours In Norilsk,
K. Trout

How do site owners disable it? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531023)

I don't think any business wants comments from morons presented alongside official content. If google want to provide a service allowing people to comment on one of my personal sites, they can damn well provide a web reachable URL. There's no way I'm installing a plugin to keep track of what's going on outside my moderated commenting system.

Re:How do site owners disable it? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531209)

Then don't install it. I will though, and I'm going to write "I THINK THIS SITE SUCKS" on every web site I see that runs any kind of advertising.
By the way, I think this site sucks. :D

Re:How do site owners disable it? (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about 5 years ago | (#29531365)

I don't see why you think you have a right to disable it. It is a separate piece of software that runs inside the browser and it doesn't inject any code into your site.

and what if I don't *want* comments on my site? (5, Insightful)

WeirdKid (260577) | about 5 years ago | (#29531043)

I am a little disturbed that I cannot find reference to any way that the site owner can "opt out" of having a sidewiki hooked to their pages. At least with Microsoft SmartTags, there was a way to disable them with a meta tag in the html header, and unlike Microsoft, Google has enough geek fanboys who think Google shits gold out there to make this feature take off.

I used to have comments enabled on my Flickr photos, but jokers kept on leaving suggestive remarks about my wife (she's pretty hot, IMHO). So, I turned it off. When talking about this with a colleague yesterday, we came up with the "ugly kid" scenario:

Imagine you have a family site with pictures of your kids on it and some jerk writes, "man, you have ugly kids" on the sidewiki. What do you do? You can't remove it. Will it be filtered out automatically by Google with their so-called "quality algorithm"? Just because there will be no anonymous posts, don't think that people won't do things like this.

Seriously, has anyone seen anything about a way to turn this off for your site? I'm not against free speech and all that, just don't add it to *my* content without my permission. Whether sidewiki is considered part of the page content is academic: the visitor will see it attached to your page.

Re:and what if I don't *want* comments on my site? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531183)

This doesn't add comments to YOUR site. It adds comments to some other site that REFERENCES your site. You don't get a say in that.
If I want to discuss Slashdot user: "WeirdKid (260577)" on my web site...there's not a darn thing you can do about it.

Re:and what if I don't *want* comments on my site? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531217)

Personally, I'd say a good tactic is to put a lot less "user content" on the web! No need to worry about its misrepresentation or misuse then!

I also don't understand people willingly handing over vast chunks of personal stuff to major companies to do with as they see fit.

My objections are not just to do with a distrust of private industry - I don't understand people handing over stuff to "free" projects either.

Re:and what if I don't *want* comments on my site? (4, Funny)

KronosReaver (932860) | about 5 years ago | (#29531255)

Seriously, has anyone seen anything about a way to turn this off for your site?

Block FF, IE, and Chrome from accessing your site.

Re:and what if I don't *want* comments on my site? (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about 5 years ago | (#29531335)

Don't use the plugin and you won't see anything. I do see a potential trademark violation issue though if they start to generate revenues with this tool somehow.

Re:and what if I don't *want* comments on my site? (3, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | about 5 years ago | (#29531451)

Oh boo hoo! And what if users TALK about your site using their vocal cords?? Site owners must have some technology for disabling users' vocal chords while accessing their sites.

Re:and what if I don't *want* comments on my site? (2, Insightful)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 5 years ago | (#29531759)

If users talk about my site, it isn't instantly accessible to the whole Internet in a permanently archive-able form.

It's a take on the Out of Sight, Out of Mind principle.

Re:and what if I don't *want* comments on my site? (1)

KWolfe81 (1593877) | about 5 years ago | (#29531465)

Similar issue with real estate. In fact I believe it is against realtors regulations to allow users to post comments on online real estate listings. The implications such comments could be drastic. If a single person tours an open house and finds (or claims to have found), say mold or structural damage, you can be damn sure that the traffic to the house will be reduced and/or the selling price will end being lower.

Re:and what if I don't *want* comments on my site? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531577)

Whats your website failbot? You suck cocks.

Re:and what if I don't *want* comments on my site? (5, Funny)

dotancohen (1015143) | about 5 years ago | (#29531659)

I used to have comments enabled on my Flickr photos, but jokers kept on leaving suggestive remarks about my wife (she's pretty hot, IMHO).

Link, PLEASE!

Been there, Done that. (5, Insightful)

Eric Freyhart (752088) | about 5 years ago | (#29531045)

There was a system out about 6 or so years ago that would allow anyone to post a virtual "sticky" note on a web page and anyone else who had the program could read it. Same concept as what Google is trying.

All I can remember is the amount of spam and junk that was written up, mostly on webpages that people didn't like or who were rivals. A lot of companies got VERY upset about the system, and the company what created the software pulled it.

Bad idea. Put this one back in the box and try something else Google. Bad idea.

Yahoo already has Searchpad (2, Insightful)

kriston (7886) | about 5 years ago | (#29531049)

Yahoo already has Searchpad. Honestly, Yahoo's search results interface is chock full of features that people aren't noticing until someone like Google copies it.

Re:Yahoo already has Searchpad (2, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | about 5 years ago | (#29531415)

Honestly, Yahoo's search results interface is chock full of features that people aren't noticing until someone like Google copies it.

ah... that because no-one is using Yahoo. They rolled out a new portal the other day, did anyone notice? No.

Does Sidewiki phone home? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531073)

Does this give Google a real-time ping with the URL for each and every page I visit?

Re:Does Sidewiki phone home? (2, Insightful)

MushMouth (5650) | about 5 years ago | (#29531189)

How else do you think google knows what comments are left for any particular page?

a great glorious day in troll technology (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 5 years ago | (#29531085)

the enemies of trolls are legion, and trolls are under siege. however, recent technological research has uncovered an entirely new parallel dimension of troll content overlaying the entire web, without any of the typical anti-troll technology in place

a fertile, virgin land, a new world, ready for colonization and plenty of glorious trolling like "no, u stfu!" and "This web page sounds like typical Obama style fascist socialism"

NO OSX or Linux Support & Its a toolbar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531101)

It has no support for Linux nor for OSX. It is also a toolbar. Toolbars are for companies that want to track you. I encourage everyone to uninstall their toolbars (every one of them). They are unnecessary and take up space on the screen. It shouldnt' be necessary that this be part of a toolbar.

Useful in certain cases (2, Interesting)

BoppreH (1520463) | about 5 years ago | (#29531107)

a) On a 404 page - "This page has been moved to ____" b) On paid content websites - "You can download it at [thepiratebay link]" c) Talk to the author (oh god, I'd rage at this) - "Hey, it didn't work in my IE6!" or "You used 'their' incorrectly" I can't think of any other case that has not been covered by conventional moderating system.

A side serving of spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531125)

How long before all you see are Viagra ads?

Economic Stimulation (1)

DriveDog (822962) | about 5 years ago | (#29531239)

Dontcha see? This is an employment program for lawyers. Billions more opportunities for libel/slander suits.

Been done... but was it patented? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531375)

I remember this being done before and thinking how incredibly cool it was. I believe it was a plug-in released at least five years ago.

Then I went to Amazon.com and was assaulted by people posting gay porn all over their home page with the plug-in. I doubt that company survived the bubble.

Hope they didn't patent it...

Subversive idea (2, Insightful)

Palestrina (715471) | about 5 years ago | (#29531391)

Extrinsic annotations. It is something that has certainly been talked about for years, though has never really gained much traction. It is also implicit (in part) in some standards like RDF. It comes down to this: How to you say something about content where you do not control the content, and still have your comments seen? Today, if the White House puts out a press release, you can certainly comment it on your blog, on Twitter, in comments to a news article, etc., but you have zero power to make your comments appear in the context of the original press release. The content author is king, and those with high Google PageRank have disproportionate (though not undue) exposure and influence. Sure, we have blogs, which encourage reader commentary, but this is exclusively at the sufferance of the page owner.

But now, with extrinsic annotations, anyone can comment on anyone's web page and have it appear in the context of that web page. I can comment on the White House press release, and so can everyone nut in the world. This is totally subversive and can easily be used for good or evil, but since this is the web it will likely be used for spam and porn more than anything else.

The challenge is how do you prevent this approach from collapsing under the oppressive weight of the vast banality of mass humanity? The web had the same problem, which PageRank solved (in part). We may need something analogous to tame the new "meta web".

Warning - It installs a bunch of crap (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531433)

The installation installs a toolbar that is stuffed full of all sorts of crap that I DO NOT WANT, like trying to get me to log on to google and sending usage data to google and a redundant google search field. Hopefully someone will do this better, like Third Voice used to do it.

Stumble Upon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531469)

I think it's similar to http://www.stumbleupon.com/ [stumbleupon.com] .

nothing new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531471)

there have been applications and plugins like this for a while. Nothing new.

Great (1)

Sycon (1622433) | about 5 years ago | (#29531477)

Now we can have penis jokes on every web page!

Lemme sum up the comments.. (4, Insightful)

CRiMSON (3495) | about 5 years ago | (#29531483)

1. Your gay!
2. This is gay
3. NOOB ASS
4. your a noob ass
5. your a fag
6. this is for fags!!
7. BuY v1agr4 n0w
8. 0b4ma will kill us all!!

Not a Plug-in (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531495)

I went to take a look and it won't let me install this as an individual firefox plug in. Instead, its just a new feature of the Google Toolbar.

C'mon guys - this has nothing to do with helping t (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531779)

Think about it - Google is constantly tuning their relevance algorithms.

What is more relevant than if someone takes the time to comment on a site?

There is absolutely no benefit to un-moderated comments for users and definately none for site owners/administrators....

So, who stands to benefit most from this freebie?

Well, if nothing else... (2, Funny)

uxbn_kuribo (1146975) | about 5 years ago | (#29531809)

This would make the World of Warcraft forums even more illegible.

wave? (1)

nerph (686592) | about 5 years ago | (#29531857)

I'm surprised it's not Gooble SideWave.

Google: Branded firefox can go fuck itself. (1)

Harik (4023) | about 5 years ago | (#29531891)

I suppose that no googlites in their ivory tower has heard about the firefox trademark issue, and certainly has no idea how trivial it is to determine if a browser is firefox based despite it's silly name.

No, they insist I go from Iceweasel 3.5 to Official firefox 2.0 in order to try out their toys.

Let me think about this tradeoff for a second. Hrm. no.

Does it matter that this waste of time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29531899)

"Does it matter that this waste of time is what makes a LIFE for you? Hmmmmm?"

I can't wait to see the "helpful" web site comments people will add. The Internet has become the ulitmate cowards tool for making statements/comments without having to provide proof or back it up (or face your "opponent")

Another great tool from Evil Google! (see how it works?)

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