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Google recently announced something called Sidewiki. What this does is creates an overlay on any website/url allowing commenting and ratings that, since it is generated by the browser and not the website owner, means that if someone puts up something really bad or questionable about your site you can do nothing about it.
In one of my previous posts I talked about reasons why companies do not get involved in social media, one of them being that haters will trash your brand or company online. Sidewiki takes the option of participation out of the company's hands as every company needs some web presence. How hard does this make our jobs as both community creators and web professionals? For me I know that many of my clients will freak when they hear this so I have to start looking into this to be ready to respond, as I think many of you will have to also.

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Last Post by MktgRob
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Google recently announced something called Sidewiki. What this does is creates an overlay on any website/url allowing commenting and ratings that, since it is generated by the browser and not the website owner, means that if someone puts up something really bad or questionable about your site you can do nothing about it.
In one of my previous posts I talked about reasons why companies do not get involved in social media, one of them being that haters will trash your brand or company online. Sidewiki takes the option of participation out of the company's hands as every company needs some web presence. How hard does this make our jobs as both community creators and web professionals? For me I know that many of my clients will freak when they hear this so I have to start looking into this to be ready to respond, as I think many of you will have to also.

This could be good and bad. There will be people that post negative stuff on pages because they are competitors or don't like someone that works there, but this also will keep companies from taking down legitimate comments about their practices that they don't like.

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This could be good and bad. There will be people that post negative stuff on pages because they are competitors or don't like someone that works there, but this also will keep companies from taking down legitimate comments about their practices that they don't like.

I see it as more bad then good due to the negative posts that can be put up by competitors. Most companies leave negative comments up so that they can address them and show that the either the comments are withour merit or that by responding that they are sensitive to the needs of customers. While there are some that do take down negative comments so that they only look good, they are eventually seen for what they are because while they can control their own sites/blogs they cannot control the chat rooms and message boards.

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I see it as more bad then good due to the negative posts that can be put up by competitors. Most companies leave negative comments up so that they can address them and show that the either the comments are withour merit or that by responding that they are sensitive to the needs of customers. While there are some that do take down negative comments so that they only look good, they are eventually seen for what they are because while they can control their own sites/blogs they cannot control the chat rooms and message boards.

These companies can just as easily respond to the comments on google. This just takes it out of the companies hands. Yes, there are forums and such, but this makes it much easier for the general consumer to get feedback on a company without having to read multiple forums and chat rooms.

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These companies can just as easily respond to the comments on google. This just takes it out of the companies hands. Yes, there are forums and such, but this makes it much easier for the general consumer to get feedback on a company without having to read multiple forums and chat rooms.

That is true but for Google to introduce this as an option on a site without giving the site owner the opportunity to opt-in or out is not right. Twitter has added geographic positioning so that people can see where a tweeter is located but only if the person tweeting wants to have that information known. The same should be true in this case and I am sure there will be backlash for google with this.

If I am a company and I want to give my customers and potential customers the opportunity to post comments that can be seen when someone visits my site, that should be my choice. Companies pay to register Urls, they pay for site hosting, they make significant investments in the look and feel of their site and for Google to proactively allow anyone to put up comments on someone's site without their permission is wrong.

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