Google is releasing a new tool called SideWiki, which will allow people to read/ post/ share comments about any page on the Internet. The tool comes as an install for the Google toolbar and would show up as a right-side alley on your browser. Given how popular and helpful sites like Yelp are this sounds like a brilliant tool (and so simple too — dammit why did I not think of this).

Click here to view the embedded video.

I have not yet installed it, but off the top of my head the following questions and comments came to mind:

  • Great! More clutter vying for my attention.
  • What about my del.icio.us sidebar that is already in that spot?
  • Wonder what Googleriffic algorithm will rank these comments
  • Good idea to incorporate sharing (twitter, facebook, etc) to this. That will speed up the adoption rate of this tool.
  • Great idea to let users rank comments and potentially kill the spam/snark comments.
  • How long until we are forced to look at the clutter, er... I mean comments AND the paid advertising in this space now too?
  • This changes the typical eye-movement sequence on a page drastically. Look for big changes in UI best practices soon.
  • What sort of cool sites and apps will be launched based on info/data aggregated from this tool?
  • Thousands of people in India just got new jobs. Professional SideWiki commenters.
  • Hear that sound? That was the last nail in the coffin for already useless banner ads.

Either way, a smart move by Google (shocker) and something new and interesting to follow progress on to see how this evolves.

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