Its been quite interesting reading the mixed reactions to Google’s SideWiki. There appears to be a great deal of misunderstanding about how SideWiki actually works, because it doesn’t actually deface pages… rather it simply allows comments stored by SideWiki about a particular page to be shown in context with that page. One of the things that immediately caught my interest with SideWiki is the API.
There are already a couple of 3rd party plugins that tap into that API:
- Kutano – a browser-based Twitter client.
- SideWinder’s SideWiki bookmarklet, which lets you view comments.
Kutano is interesting in its own right, as it allows users to view tweets related to a particular page and they simply incorporated SideWiki into their browser plugin. If you don’t like the idea of SideWiki, then you won’t like the idea of Kutano as it has been effectively doing the same thing – just using Twitter as the mechanism for submitting ‘comments’. BTW Kutano is by no means the only plugin that allows Tweets to be added and shown in the context of a Web page – e.g. AddATweet (and there are probably plenty more).
SideWinder’s bookmarklet is helpful if you use a browser not supported by Google’s Toolbar or one of the other 3rd party plugins.
The screenshots show the Kutano, SideWiki and bookmarklet view of the same page.
Like it or not, what SideWiki, other in context microblogging tools, and even bookmarking sites represent isn’t some kind of abuse, its just where the real time Web is heading.
And wouldn’t this kind of functionality be great on an intranet? It would be one way of upgading legacy apps with some social capabilities?
Hat tip to RWW.