Google Sidewiki Gives Critics a Voice—On Your Company’s Website

I attended an inspiring panel discussion (#digistrat) yesterday morning at McGraw-Hill to launch a new digital media strategy book authored by Paul Argenti and Courtney Barnes.

Among the more stirring take-aways, via Barnes: Companies that are still not convinced about the importance of social media “will be irrelevant tomorrow, if not already today.”

Perhaps Google Sidewiki will help awaken those dinosaurs, because the new tool (launched in late September) allows anyone to attach comments directly to your website without your consent.

Surprisingly, few ax grinders are wielding the weapon yet. Most of Sidewikis I have seen are generally positive (like this one on The Wall Street Journal’s site), posted by marketers who hope to connect their names to popular websites and brands, like remoras on a shark.

Companies won’t be able to control these conversations. (Welcome to the world of social media.) But you may have a chance to moderate them or establish the tone, if you get involved.

I suggest you start by launching your own Sidewiki today, before one of your vocal critics does.