Google recently released SideWiki, a commenting system that is available for every site on the Internet, without the approval or participation of the site owners. I fear that SideWiki may be a royal pain for webmasters, marketers and people concerned with online reputation management.
Your website is the one place on the Internet that you have control. People can do and say crazy things out there, but on your site what you say goes. You pay for it, you put effort into, and you get to decide what visitors see and read, right? Wrong. Google’s SideWiki provides visitors a mechanism to contribute content and comments to your site that are completely out of your control.
As a recent blog post points out, Seth Godin purposely does not allow comments on his blog. Now Google has forced comments on him. Other famous bloggers like Jason Kottke and Andrew Sullivan purposely and by design do not allow commenting on their posts as well. Now they all have comments and its out of their hands.
There are some SideWiki defeats techniques already available, but I really don’t want to bother with a work-around. Google should make SideWiki opt-in for site owners. It should only work on sites that give an explicit approval.
Now, please comment using MY commenting system below.