The following is a comment I left in a SideWiki on Phil Windley’s Technometrica article “Claiming My Right to a Purpose-Centric Web: SideWiki“. I’m repeating it here as I’m basically quite proud of it.
I’m intrigued by the question of ownership of engagement and discussion. I’m seeing a lot of successful bloggers expressing a lot of outrage, and yet normally receiving comments is something that bloggers love, excepting spam, unless it’s really good spam.
As I’m typing this I don’t see what I’m doing as a defacement. My comments are clearly divided from your site. They are in a separate part of my user interface that I have chosen to switch on. When I publish they will appear:
- on one of my blogs
- on my Google Profile
- in my FriendFeed stream
- in my Twitter Stream
These are locations where I like the text that I’ve written to appear.
Sidewiki is not the first 3rd party technology to enable the annotation of site, and it won’t be the last. It has a high profile and a high distribution because it’s embedded in the Google Toolbar. It’s not unique, but it is a nice implementation that complements traditional threaded comments. You’ll note that this comment is about a highlighted phrase. That’s a very useful feature for those of us who like to fact check, or to limit our expressed opinions to the narrow scope that we’re comfortable with.
I’d really urge your readers to try before condemning.