The last week in September, I wrote an article expressing some opinions about Google Sidewiki. One of the concerns I had with Google Sidewiki was the fact that users couldn’t claim “indexable ownership” of their content. Instead, content contributed in Google Sidewiki would be left for hackers, and other splog owners to tap into.
Being a blogger myself, at that time, I had no interest in using Google Sidewiki. The reason is simple. If I am going to invest time into contributing my thoughts into words, then I am only going to do that in a way that allows me to maintain control of my content and possibly even make money off it. In other words, instead of investing an hour of time into making a Google Sidewiki comment about another web page, I’d much rather publish the write-up on my blog, add a little SEO flavor to the content, slap some AdSense on the page, and make about $25 / year off my writing.
I am not sure what happened or why, but Google Sidewiki now offers the option to pipe your comments directly into your Blogger.com blog. In my opinion, this corrects everything, and instantly changes my mind about contributing and using Google Sidewiki. This new feature actually excites me simply because I am not able to spin off content on my blog easier than before. New article content can be published on my blog directly from Google Sidewiki. When the comment is published on the blog, a reference to the web page and the Sidewiki page are automatically included in the footnotes of the article.
Another feature I enjoy about Google Sidewiki is the fact that you can leave a welcome comment on pages that you own. The opening comment will remain on the top of the Sidewiki page, and the owner has the option of editing and or deleting the comment if desired. This feature gives site owners, such as bloggers, an excellent opportunity to welcome readers to their site.
The sharing features in Google Sidewiki are very helpful and useful. I’ll admit, when I wrote my first article about Google Sidewiki, I was so bothered by many things that I didn’t have a clear vision on a lot of the good things. The sharing capabilities are great. After publishing a comment, users can share what they wrote on FaceBook, Twitter, and by Email.
I hope to see additional sharing features in the near future; however, I am very pleased with the ones being offered. Frankly, FaceBook and Twitter are my two favorites, plus if I am batching my comments to my Blogger.com blog, I have additional sharing features available there.
That said, I’ll admit, I jumped the gun when I published my last article; however, I do feel my opinions regarding web spam and content theft are valid. Bloggers typically don’t like to contribute content in areas where they lose control of it or the ability to monetize it. With Google making the decision to allow people to pipe their comments directly into their blogs, this makes thing so much more appealing. At least it does for me. And don’t be surprised when you run across a few of my comments in Sidewiki. Also, and don’t be surprised if the post you’re reading on my blog was actually a post written within Sidewiki. And lastly, don’t be surprised if that post was written about you.