Categories: Webmaster Tools :

How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki?

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How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? cs1380 9/24/09 10:39 AM
Sidewiki is a terrible idea that robs every webmaster of control over their own sites. I do not want random people or competitors or porn sites controling what people read on my sites. How can we block sidewiki entirely? Do webmasters have to disallow every visitors with the Google Toolbar installed?
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? 1918 (deprecated) 9/24/09 2:33 PM
There is currently no opt-out option
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? cs1380 9/24/09 8:13 PM
Until Google dumps this or provides an opt out, web site owners who'd like to retain control of what appears on their own site can block all Google Toolbar users by adding the following to their htaccess file. The "notoolbar.php" points to a file explaining Google's bad behavior and instructing the visitor to uninstall Google Toolbar in order to proceed. You can create your own file and name it whatever you like, just be sure to change the code below to make it match the file name you've chosen.

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} GTB [NC]
RewriteRule .* notoolbar.php [L]
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? 1918 (deprecated) 9/25/09 4:41 AM
If a site did that to me, I would immediately leave the site. My thinking would be, who the hell are you to tell me what toolbars I can use! There are many people who have the toolbar installed who have no clue it even offers such functionality.

Redirecting people to a page, where they will still have the ability to leave comments in Sidewiki, may just piss them off enough so that notoolbar.php fills up with very nast comments.

Just my two cents.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? cs1380 9/25/09 5:19 AM
And who the hell is Google to decide what appears on my site? This is exactly why they must provide an opt out; blocking toolbar users is the only way to prevent the abuse SideWiki invites. Side wiki is half useless now and once they provide an opt out it becomes totally useless. I'm hopeful that Google's attempt at this will quickly fail like every previous attempt. Also, responsible parents are going to have to turn this thing off every time their kids want to use the computer because there is no reliable moderation of the comments they may see on any web site they visit. Google toolbar will become the evil thing we can't let kids use.

Just my two and a half cents.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? 1918 (deprecated) 9/25/09 9:04 AM
cs1380,

I'm with you, but try to keep it in perspective.

1. The comments are not on your site, they are on Google's sidewiki.
2. You have to have the toolbar installed
3. You have to have a Google acct.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? vich 9/25/09 9:20 AM
Right, and hardly anyone has a google account or the toolbar installed, right?

Saying "comments are not on your site" is weak. They appear in the browser along with your site. Doesn't matter that they're not actually in the html code of the site itself.

Google REALLY needs to let webmasters opt-out of this. Not cool.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? JohnMu 9/25/09 1:17 PM
There's some good information on Search Engine Land about SideWiki, which shows how you as the site-owner can claim the first slot to talk to users accessing your sites: http://searchengineland.com/google-sidewiki-allows-anyone-to-comment-about-any-site-26420

Apart from that, I personally feel that if a site triggers discussions, that's generally a good thing and should be encouraged. If that's not possible on the page itself, it'll take place elsewhere... maybe in SideWiki, maybe on Twitter, FriendFeed, FaceBook, etc. At any rate, I'll pass your comments on to the team, thanks for posting!

Cheers,
John
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? cs1380 9/25/09 5:50 PM
John,

My original question was how do we opt out. Referencing an article about claiming the first spot is feebly self serving and dismissive.

Please try to understand that Google employees do not get to force their personal feelings about how the web "should" operate on everyone else and that's what SideWiki does. It is an open invitation for every nut job and porn pusher with access to a free WAN to graffiti any site they want and Google has stolen the site owner's ability to defend themselves or even clean up the mess.

Until Google rescinds this tyrannical "feature"  or provides an opt out, Toolbar users will be blocked. I would much rather lose a few visitors than open my sites, their visitors and the visitor's children to Sidewiki.

On the plus side, so far I haven't lost any visitors. My sites have received a relatively paltry 3100 visitors since Google announced SideWiki. Not a single one of those visitors had Google Toolbar installed. None.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? cs1380 9/26/09 11:17 AM
Update: I've been told my original htaccess code might cause infinite loops on some servers. It doesn't on mine, but to be safe you can also try:

RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} GTB [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} GoogleToolbar [NC]
RewriteRule !^nogtb\.php$ /nogtb.php [L]
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Nanacast dot com 9/26/09 11:56 AM
Here is a solution to the entire issue if Google will only listen:

1. Only allow sidewiki comments on sites that have added a line of code that specifically is designed to signify that they want it. In other words sites participate in sidewiki by opting in.

If google does not implement this then Google is the biggest spammer the internet has ever known.

2. Alternatively and less appealing is the opt out option... google can provide a line of code for webmasters to install in the head of their pages to opt out. Better than nothing but not as good as the opt-in suggestion.

Other than that the only real solution we have right now is to install SSL on every site unless you want to use the stupid toolbar user redirect option.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? cs1380 9/26/09 2:48 PM
Paying for SSL to protect myself from Google isn't a real solution. But thanks anyway.

I'm continuing to redirect all GTB6 users to a page with instructions on how to uninstall Toolbar and the message:

Google's new "SideWiki" addition to their toolbar steals control from website owners and lets Google decide what comments are published on other people's sites.

Please be aware that if you have "SideWiki" installed, your personally identifiable browsing history is collected and stored by Google.
Also any site your young children visit may have unpleasant comments visible. These comments are beyond the control of the kid friendly site owners.

Because you have the Google Toolbar installed you may not visit this site.
Please uninstall Google Toolbar in order to proceed. Thank you.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? seo101 9/26/09 4:44 PM
Google are there to serve the searcher, not the webmaster. Googe will only stop doing this when the users/searchers no longer find it helpful.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? seo101 9/26/09 5:14 PM
>I'm continuing to redirect all GTB6 users to a page with
>instructions on how to uninstall Toolbar and the message:
 
Probably be easier to shoot yourself in the foot!
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Phil Payne 9/27/09 2:24 AM
> .. the site-owner can claim the first slot

And don't make any typos - you can't edit or delete it.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? 1918 (deprecated) 9/27/09 5:49 AM
@Phil Payne - I just edited my opening comment on this page: http://www.1918.com/sidewiki-your-new-commenting-service/

Back to the opening question from cs1380 - I think there is a better workaround than sending them off to a page where they can't interact with you at all...

If You go to the link above, you'll see the Sidewiki, but If I redirect you you to a page anchor (http://www.1918.com/sidewiki-your-new-commenting-service/#comments) you'll notice the Sidewiki disappears.

This could be helpful in also if you wanted to test out Googles other newest searchability widget: http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/09/jump-to-information-you-want-right-from.html

Hope this helps!


Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? cs1380 9/27/09 7:53 AM
@1918 - Thanks, that's an interesting find. I'm concerned that in order to be effective, I'd have to rewrite every page request to include an anchor. Plus, now that Google is aware of this they made "correct" for it like they're rumored to be doing about SSL.

I finally turned away my first GTB6 user this morning. That's one visitor in approximately 5000. Still, I'd like to fine tune the redirections to just SideWiki users especially if they're going to include this turd with Chrome. There may be some hope in a javascript like AutoBlink or something akin to a break-out-of-frame script.

You mentioned perspective before. Primarily I run a small nonprofit site as a public service. There are no ads and no donation requests. From my perspective it is much more important to maintain the quality of our sites than wrangle every possible visitor. Since Wednesday the site has received only a couple genuine post comments and BadBehavior has blocked over 60 malicious ones including 2 SQL attacks. The reality is bad visitors outnumber good visitors by a huge margin. SideWiki has no chance of doing any good; it is almost certain to degrade every site that allows it. Even if that weren't the case and Google's bad guy algorithm was perfect, they still have no right to dictate what appears on a site they don't own.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? emilesland 9/28/09 6:40 PM
As a owner of 3 small businesses online starting in 2003, I definitely do not see how this helps searchers FIND web content. Google is a search engine, not Facebook, which is a member only site! It is optional. I use most of Google's tools and I promote them to my clients, but no more if this flatland pluralism run amok tool is forced on webmasters. This is not smart for Google either. If most searchers find this tool more annoying than helpful, they will go elsewhere.

The thing that gets my goat is that you are forced to compete and be ranked to be in Google (which makes sense for best results), but they are going to add a free-for-all layer on top that allows any criminal or idiot to "graffiti" your website (which makes no sense for best results).  It adds nothing useful, just another app for narcissism.

The fact that Google makes most of its money off of Adwords/ Adsense means Google should play fair with their bread and butter- the website owners!
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 9/29/09 2:53 AM
Website owners aren't the Google customers the majority of the time, the searchers are.

If Google thinks it will help searchers it is going to go for it.
I do think that you should have the ability that if you verify your site in webmaster tools you should have the option to 'flag' wiki entries as spam/abuse, which would temporaily remove them till someone from Google can review them, however:
In general I think this is a good thing, its not hosted ON your site, its just cross-referencing a wiki-page via an addon. Only people who want this installed will acctually see this anyway. Hopefully loads of spam sites/cons will get their sidewikis spammed with comments saying such! :) Legit website owners might have a bit of a problem with dodgy comments but I doubt it will as widespread as some people here are making out.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? cs1380 9/29/09 12:29 PM
There is now a free script that blocks SideWiki comments without blocking or redirecting all GTB users.

http://code.google.com/p/sidewiki-defeat/
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Maintainer 9/30/09 1:10 PM
I'm not sure how I feel about sidewiki. It's certainly nothing new there has been and are other webapps that do much the same thing but sidewiki stands to gain more traction as it's developed by a leader in the industry.

I am of two minds of course—the anal tyrant control-freak in me wants to control every last period that appears on "my" site; the anarchist in me thinks that any tool that gives the user a voice is a beautiful thing.

Of course having a site whose audience are mostly bots of one kind or another it's kinda concerning that I may end up with comment spam. But Google is good at keeping spam at bay.

The deal is the sidewiki isn't mine, it's not hosted on my site, it doesn't burn my bandwidth, and I don't moderate it. It's a separate site which allows users to discuss mine. I'm thinking of it more as a backchannel that augments the site and the comments on the site. It will be very interesting to see what people will talk about while the main conversation continues.

Many of my grad-courses utilized a backchannel discussion durning lectures that spurred ideas and allowed the students to examine issues tangentially aligned to the course material but which would have been off-topic to the lecture at hand. This was a good thing, and lead often to some great ideas. The same goes on at any conference, lecture, etc.

My main issue is whether to leave the sidewiki alone to fosters this sort of thing or if I should incorporate it into the comments section of my site. I like the idea of a backchannel, but I would also like to pull in the comments so that those that don't use it can get a glimpse of what others are discussing.

It's an interesting tool and an even more interesting philosophical quandary—it's gonna take a while for any answers to emerge. I would urge other webmasters to relinquish a little control and wait to see where this is headed. It may turnout to be a nightmare, or it may give our users more control and feel more connected to our sites.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? 1918 (deprecated) 9/30/09 1:32 PM
Maintainer-

The Sidewiki API allows you to access the comments on a per page or per user basis, so you could integrate it.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? John 9/30/09 1:35 PM
There is now a free script that blocks SideWiki comments without blocking or redirecting all GTB users.

http://code.google.com/p/sidewiki-defeat/


"Defeats Sidewiki tracking amalgamation of comments by generating and appending a unique hash to each URL. Works only if there is no hash portion present in the request URL and JavaScript is enabled."

Oh MY!  In this case, the cure is much worse than the disease.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? gdwilson 10/1/09 7:58 PM
JohnMu,

"Unmoderated" comments aren't always good. If a site owner wants conversation readily available, he can easily add a comment section. It's also NOT in conversation format since it lists items based on rank and you dont have a hierarchy.

To those saying "Google doesn't care about the webmaster," you are mistaken. When I pull all my ad dollars and put them in BING and Yahoo, along with other webmasters, they will care.

Google will be displaying wiki ads soon too - without paying site owners.

I can't wait until the first KW based SideWiki spam bot is released and people target Google properties with worthless posts.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? johnfurst 10/2/09 2:53 AM
I wish for an opt-out feature too, without getting charged for it. I want people to comment directly on the blog or the social media widgets I provide. The big question is. How will users respond. Personally, I am disinterested since its just another time sucker. Searchwiki was not such a big hit. My guess, sidewiki won't be either. Users have better things to do then to comment on a gazillion of different platforms. I just wrote an article about it and reference Paul Myers, who wrote an excellent rant. http://blog.fcon21.biz/273/
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Cliqz 10/2/09 8:41 AM
Enough with the discussions...

To all those arguing in favor of the SideWiki please post your URLs here so that I may go place profanity laced tirades on your sidewiki followed by a few mentions of other sites so I can lure your users away to spammy landing pages.

Obviously logic isn't working so this is probably the only way to get you to see the point that webmasters are trying to make...
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? simons1321 10/2/09 1:08 PM
Has anyone tried making a webmaster sidewiki that is so long that it takes up the majority of the sidewiki area on most screen resolutions?  This way the entire sidewiki for a page will only show the webmasters sidewiki and all other comments will get pushed to page 2.  Not sure if there's a character count though.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? 1918 (deprecated) 10/2/09 1:11 PM
I have to say I am somewhat surprised by the sheer amount of FUD about Sidewiki.

Is there any real life examples anyone can point to that show it's being abused?
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? simons1321 10/2/09 1:16 PM
there was a couple on Microsoft.com where a user was complaining about the Microsoft site and products causing him physical pain... not exaclty spam or abuse, but I'm sure Microsoft wasn't too happy about that appearing on their homepage.  There was also one on the IE8 homepage that was praising Google Chrome.  Again not exactly spam or abuse, but certainly something that wouldn't make a site owner happy.  Note: both of those comments are no longer showing... at least on my computer.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? gdwilson 10/2/09 3:19 PM
1918 - Yes. Here are two.

1. Dell.com had spam about getting a free laptop.
2. A friend of mine had hate posts about him and his family at Ezine Articles.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? 1918 (deprecated) 10/2/09 3:22 PM
gdwilson-

Can you provide urls?

I'd love to blog about it.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? gdwilson 10/2/09 4:01 PM
Image of the dell spam. http://www.flickr.com/photos/bryanperson/3968200980/sizes/l/in/photostream/

Now Dell only has one comment showing. Well, two. I left one but I bet it only shows for me... ie Google might be letting some companies out of sidewiki. If they are... unfair trade practice lawsuits will hit them.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Lucre 10/3/09 9:04 AM
Re: 1918 - "I have to say I am somewhat surprised by the sheer amount of FUD about Sidewiki. Is there any real life examples anyone can point to that show it's being abused?"

My God! Google Sidewiki was launched September 23rd, 2009. (from Wikipedia) Do you really don't need more time for this snowball to gain momentum?

All I needed to read was cs180's comment, "responsible parents are going to have to turn this thing off every time their kids want to use the computer because there is no reliable moderation of the comments they may see on any web site they visit."

This foreboding is of special concern to our School Board who exercise tenactious control of third party representation on all our school sites - separate, public, elementary and secondary. Illegitamate business spam would be the least of our worries compared what predators may find usefull with this tool. This is a dark day for Google so far as to the health of our education system. It is hard to beleive that Google would force our resources to block their naivety.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? 1918 (deprecated) 10/3/09 6:44 PM
Lucre,

Explain to me how Sidewiki empowers child predators? That's exacylt the kind of FUD I was talking about.

I acknowledge that there are some problems with the Sidewiki concept, and it could be tweaked, but saying that it is putting children at risk is just crazy!

I would venture to guess that 98% of people do not have the Google toolbar installed, and even if they do, will never use Sidewiki because they don't have a Google acct.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? gdwilson 10/3/09 7:27 PM
1918, Start looking at your site stats and you might be surprised as to the number installed. Everyone I know has it. Google wouldnt bother if it was an insignificant number.

Predators: Making comments acting like someone they may know on kid friendly sites to get contact details, links clicked, etc. Thats just off the top of my head. Lots of ways this is bad for kids.

The Sidewiki concept might be OK but the forcing of webmasters to police comments and not allowing opt-outs or giving webmasters a way to quckly remove comments isn't.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? 1918 (deprecated) 10/3/09 7:36 PM
Pauline Kael's supposed quote about when Nixon won the 1972 election, "How can that be? No one I know voted for Nixon!"

People who come into the Google Webmaster Forum are not normal - we are geeks, the chance of us or our friends having/using it is going to be higher.

How can I pretend to be a kid's friend when I have to have a Google acct? I understand you can make one up, but I still think that saying child predators will use Sidewiki is a stretch. If you want to argue the whole "my competitors will bash me" or "unhappy customers will use it infairly" I think you have a much stronger case.

I have access to some very mainstream sites that see between 1-2 million visitors a month, I'll see what percentage of those visitors are using the toolbar and report back here at the beginning of the week.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? gdwilson 10/3/09 7:52 PM
1918, My friends are not geeks and use the net for email, ebay and basic surfing. Most of them got it because it was bundled w/ another download. Not because I'm a geek and are more likely to have friends who would use it. I only have it because of the page rank checker. I use the search because it's there but if it wasn' for the PR I would remove it.

The chances of my example happening is slim but you asked "how" not "how likely".

The porn links, its very likely though. If I was a link spammer and was paid for clicks or installs, I would target sites that teens/preteens visit as it's easier to get them to click a link.

Of course we don't know if kids will see it there or not - yet. I can see them using it though as a way to bypass school filters though.

Image this...

A school only allows certain sites. Kids visit these sites and leave messages for each other because IM is blocked. Spammers use google to find popular sidewikis and boom - porn spam that the schools couldn't block. From what I have seen, the admin would have to block google itself to block the sidewiki.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Lucre 10/4/09 4:43 PM
1918 Re: Explain to me how Sidewiki empowers child predators? That's exacylt the kind of FUD I was talking about.

Your naive faith in this tool and people is befuddling.

I can't see a reference to the word 'empower'. Please, comments appear in the browser along with your site. The not so nice geeks that are interested in a differrent 'discussion' now have the potential to use this Graffitti Tool with all the same premise as the graffitti on public washroom wall. No, not empowering as if it were a luring tool - just a place to leave a 'mark'.

Your optimism is obvious but it is also just as obvious you're taking Google's attitude of not listening. Constantly talking that nobody has this (and of course, it's only been released last month) so I'm supposed to think the continued availablity of this thing will not grow? (guffaw). You keep calling for examples and explainations and I'm sure it's only because you have no imagination for such things until seeing them, unfortunatly it looks like that is precisely what has to happen.

"With most men, unbelief in one thing springs from blind belief in another."
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? tattoos 10/6/09 7:52 PM
I'm with you, but try to keep it in perspective.

1. The comments are not on your site, they are on Google's sidewiki.  >> That is the problem, not on your site = Not in your control.
2. You have to have the toolbar installed >> You are wrong.
3. You have to have a Google acct. >> Again, you are wrong. (see below).

First off, I should say that I am a huge Google fan and enjoy using lots of their products.
I only started looking into sidewiki yesterday after reading an interesting post about it.
I did not have it installed on my browser and I was not logged into my Google account, but still was able to read some side wiki comments. How? simple.
Try it... log out of your Google account, Disable sidewiki and visit the Google.com version of Microsoft.com http://www.google.com/sidewiki/entry/ChrisBeachUK/id/pbeBjXIIWQ_k9sRj4ZsOilPQ4W0
How did I find the URL? Easy... Google. (microsoft site:google.com/sidewiki/entry/) Looking for more? try Googling (site:google.com/sidewiki/entry/) Starting to see the implications now?
If Google continue to index sidewiki comments and sidewiki takes off (helped by default implementation into an application like Chrome or wave?), then you can expect to see more and more wikis showing up in the results, perhaps even for searches done for your site name.

Including sidewikis in Google SERP's is a gross misjudgment by Google IMHO.

Cheers
James

Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? LWN 10/9/09 6:43 PM
As a website owner my biggest challenge with this is lack of control and huge time sink.

I have had individuals email me angry with the service they received from something they thought they purchased from my site. Because it was email I could eventually discover that it was not even purchased through my site. Now they will just leave a negative comment on the page and sabotage sales.

Are there any tools for me to monitor the thousands of pages on my site to discover when comments are made? Apparently not. If I take time away from all the other tasks a one person business has to check page by page what recourse do I really have when something inappropriate is discovered?

Sidewiki has the potential to destroy a small business. Reading the daily news about Adsense click fraud networks, spam bots, etc. make it obvious that there is potential for serious abuse. And if you really believe the majority of people will use Sidewiki to "help site owners" you haven't read the comments in Yahoo Buzz or any general news site that allows comments.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? adnap 10/9/09 11:07 PM
Wow.. I just discovered this subject... and I must agree with all people here that have fear about this new tool.  I understand very well where Google want to go in the futur with that kind of strategy, but they must "At least"  let the webmaster control the content that show up on their website. .  The indexing of comment is another weird news.

I'm a huge fan of Google.  But this, in my perspective, is a  big thumb down for them (if they not listen and ajust this tools)
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? nathanziarek 10/13/09 6:44 AM
I tend to fall on the side of the unfearful, but think there have been a couple of good points made to the opposite.

Twitter allows me to write whatever I want, and as much of it, about any site on the web. I just put in the URL and it doesn't matter if what I write is correct, SPAM or malicious. Twitter is indexed by all the major search engines, so a search for your page may include a result from my Twitter stream.

Now, imagine there is a tool that allows me to visit a page and all of the Twitter postings about the URL show up on the side (ironically the bit.ly sidebar is just that). Is there a difference between these two tools?

Let's even take it a further step away: Google's ability to find all pages that link to a certain page. Searching for link:www.example.com/main/page.html in Google provides me a list of all pages linking to that page. Most of these pages are not controlled by me, and all of them could be from free and easy-to-sign-up-for sites (Twitter, Blogger). I have no say in what words those sites use to link to my page, nor in stopping Google from allowing that kind of search.

I gave up the illusion of control on my site some time ago, and don't see how this is any better or worse than what we've already got. Sidebars aren't new ... and even Google's sidewiki obeys some <META> tag, bit.ly's won't. We have no control over the type of plugins people use, or how they treat our site once they've visited.

I'm curious to hear more...
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? BlockSideWiki-com 10/18/09 9:07 AM
There is currently only one solution on the market that can in fact block widewiki, the solution is not that free javascript stuff that does not work. BlockSideWiki solution is php and mysql and can fully block comments from being seen.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? healpastlives 10/18/09 5:36 PM
Thanks for all this information... I did not opt-in to Side-Wiki... do not want it and I am grateful for this advise about getting rid of it.  Thanks again!
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Maintainer 10/18/09 11:15 PM
Dude. If a site deliberately breaks my browser and tools I will be pissed off enough to never visit it again and it'll be lucky to escape a twitter/blog campaign. This is akin to breaking into my social network tools and deleting content that you disagree with.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? tattoos 10/19/09 12:06 AM
@Maintainer,
I am unsure what "solution" BlockSideWiki is referring to, but I doubt anyone would be stupid enough to add something to their site that would "break" their visitors browser. (the site would likely be flagged as malicious).

However, there are a lot of people that use code to break frames.
They do this to stop other websites from displaying their sites content within a frame on another domain (like Google images does and Sidewiki has the potential of doing)

EG: http://www.google.com/sidewiki/entry/107078998277002016334/id/g8efp92JAddLrvGNQx68v_cWNrw

Although I don't do this, I can't see anything wrong with it.
All the site owner is doing is protecting their sites content from being displayed on a domain they don't own.

Cheers
James
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? BlockSideWiki-com 10/20/09 12:14 PM
@tattoos - http://www.blocksidewiki.com - it does not block any toolbar users or anything, it blocks the comments left on sidewiki from others seeing those comments. This is not that cheap free open source code javascript script either. Block SideWiki does not break any browser or anything..
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? tattoos 10/20/09 2:37 PM
>> This is not that cheap free open source code javascript script either.

OK, I see now, clever.
So you have a vested interest in sidewiki. (I would hate to see sidewiki used to promote this product)
Anyway, at least the free java script is free, unlike your $45 "apend #+random-word to end of URL" script.
I notice it doesn't 301, how does it handle PR? Not well I would suppose.

My only gripe is that sidewiki's are indexed.
http://www.google.com/sidewiki/author/101258152762098526443/alt/iframe?hl=en
http://www.google.com/sidewiki/feeds/entries/author/101258152762098526443/default?hl=en
http://www.abate.me/block-sidwiki-2.png
http://www.abate.me/block-sidwiki-3.png
http://www.abate.me/block-sidwiki-4.png

Cheers
James
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? gdwilson 10/20/09 4:17 PM
@tattoos - You like my posts on his site? ;)

You can see a video of me doing it at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j86lyslX5Ds
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? tattoos 10/20/09 4:52 PM
@gdwilson - lol, Yes I did, especially  the one that says, "not any more effective than free options" :)

I should point out, I have nothing against anyone trying to stop unwanted comments from being associated with there site.
But when you find out they have a vested interest in it, then 90% of any concerns raised will be dismissed because most people will assume they are spreading FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) and trying to capitalize on it.

If blockwiki was truly concerned about sidewiki, he would just tell people how to do it, rather than try and squeeze $45 out of people for a script that is most likely freely available somewhere else on the net.

Cheers
James
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? danrochman 10/21/09 11:46 PM
I'm frankly amazed by most of this discussion.  Aside from the usual FUD (of the ZOMG, Sidewiki is coming - we must SAVE THE CHILDREN!! variety), it seems that many of you (from the OP on down) genuinely don't understand the difference between a web _site_ and a web _browser_.  You, as a webmaster, still control the content on your web site(s) - Sidewiki doesn't change that.  As an end user, however, I get to control my web browser.  Please get over it.  In a world with billions of available bits of web content, growing by the second, be very grateful if anyone is seeing/reading anything you put out there, under any circumstances.
Lucre: judging by your post (tenactious? ORLY??), your school board needs to spend more time worrying more about basic literacy and critical thinking skills, and MUCH less time worrying about Google Sidewiki.  Maybe read some more Lichtenberg, and lichten up.  :D
cs1380:  Blocking all users of the Google Toolbar is pretty strong evidence that you're paranoid delusional.  I don't know how important you think your web sites are, or what terrible things you imagine might happen to someone if (gadzooks!!) they happen to have a sidebar of some kind open while they look at them, but I think you need to give yourself a serious reality check, and cut back on the histrionics.  Third Voice didn't kill us all.  DotSpots didn't kill us all.  Nor did Fleck, nor Kutano, nor any of the other attempts at this sort of thing.  And Sidewiki, even if it doesn't just die out like the others, will certainly *not* be the death of us all.  The claim that "SideWiki has no chance of doing any good; it is almost certain to degrade every site that allows it." is far from certain - it's actually pretty baseless.  Sidewiki might do a lot of good, or it might not, or it might just fail away - only time will tell. And from comments like "Even if that weren't the case and Google's bad guy algorithm was perfect, they still have no right to dictate what appears on a site they don't own.", it's obvious that you JUST DON'T GET IT.  Please re-read the bit above about "web site" vs. "web browser".  Then re-read it 12 or 20 more times.  Sidewiki doesn't modify your site.  It modifies my browser.  And only if I want it to.  The only dictator here is you, banishing any who dare to sully your perfect little web kingdom with their evil little Google toolbars...  Sheesh.
As JohnMu correctly pointed out, if a conversation about your site can't (or just doesn't) happen in Sidewiki, that doesn't mean it won't just happen elsewhere.  It's insane to think that you can stop other people from commenting on your site, or feel that you are capable of (much less compelled to) control all of that commentary.  Do you think of your web site(s) as a publishing platform, or as a place to act out your fantasy of being a petty tyrant?
Also, many of you have the (ironic?) sense that every other web user must be orders of magnitude stupider than you are.  As in, OMG, what if they see "profanity laced tirades on your sidewiki followed by a few mentions of other sites [that will of course] lure your users away to spammy landing pages."  Yeah, that's really scary.  It's a good thing that that sort of thing is confined to Sidewiki comments, so that once Sidewiki fails away we'll have a nice, clean, safe, internet, with no profanity, or spam.  But just imagine if that sort of thing could be found anywhere else on the internet...  Whoa.
If you step back a bit, you might realize that it's quite a long journey from "I have a web site" to "I can (and must!) find and control EVERY mention of my web site, ANYWHERE on the internet".  Please don't make that journey.  If you've already made that journey (as many of you seem to have done), please come back.  All is forgiven.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? BigRedBarn 10/24/09 10:13 AM
The bottom line is that I would start looking at my practices home page on a weekly
basis for grafitti provided to you by Google.

To give you an idea of how important this will all become - you also need to
remember that Google has a mobile phone application called Android. Iphone will
not dominate the market forever. Once Android phones are more common, my bet is
that they will also be automatically sidewiki enabled. This means that when your
potential client is on their mobile looking at your website looking for
directions to come to the clinic with that dog you have never seen, those
comments might be directing them elsewhere.

Like any small business it is really tough to please every customer.
Will spammers have a huge field day using this?
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? danrochman 10/25/09 8:52 PM
Straw Poll:  How many people here have ever been "lured away" from a site they would otherwise have visited by "evil spammers"?

I'm trying to imagine it.  There I am with Rover (maybe he's got those hound dog blues), looking up the directions to Rover's veterinary clinic.  But wait!  What's this?!?  Herbal Viagra is only $3,000/lb if I act now???  

"Sorry, Rover - your vet trip is going to have to wait!!"  
"Barrrooo?" says Rover, plaintively.
"Blame Sidewiki, buddy.  It just told me that the vet that we were going to visit is actually Hitler's stepchild, and that there's like a GAZILLION dollars waiting for me in a bank in Nigeria!  It must all be true, so to hell with that evil vet, and let's get going to Nigeria!  Right after we pick up that viagra, of course..."
"Barrrooo?" says Rover again, still plaintively.

This has never happened to me.  Partly because I don't actually have a dog.  But mostly because I'm not insane, I'm not a drooling imbecile, and I'm not at risk of being completely derailed by some random spam comment(s) that might or might not show up alongside some other web site.  Honestly: Has this ever happened to (any of) you??  If it has, whatever became of poor Rover?  I'm dying to know...

Really, censorship seems to always be about the need to protect "other people" from stuff that's harmless to me (otherwise, aren't the censors themselves in horrible danger?).  But when you worry about how much harm Sidewiki might cause, are you really so comfortable speaking for (and worrying about) everyone else's web experience ?  I mean, if it's (just?) me that you're trying to save, you can relax.  I'm really not worried about Sidewiki on my Android phone ruining my web experience.  If other people are worried about themselves, then those individuals can just opt out of using Sidewiki.  Actually, they don't even have to opt out - they can just decline to opt in.  Please notice that:
 - No one is being forced to install the Google Toolbar
 - Even with the toolbar installed, you can still disable Sidewiki
 - Even with Sidewiki enabled, you can still disable the notification bar
 - Even with the notification bar enabled, you're free to ignore the notifications - the sidebar never opens on its own

So it's a pretty huge stretch, at this point, to suggest that Sidewiki isn't opt-in from the user's side.  It's about as opt-in as you could get.  And at this point, that (and in general, broad adoption) is the biggest challenge that Sidewiki faces.

Intelligent, informed people have little to fear from spammers.  Worry less about controlling spammers (you can't), and more about fostering an informed community of web users (an uphill battle, but there is always hope).
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 10/27/09 7:00 PM
Google needs to give websites the option to OPT-OUT -- or better yet, "opt-in" (as mentioned above by other people). Google Sidewiki is not only a tool to vandalize websites, Google Sidewiki also robs your website's users and user generated content. It's easier for a visitor to post their comments to Google Sidewiki than to register for your site and post the comments on your site. I want the ability to opt out of Google Sitewiki without having to use bizarre workarounds like appending URL fragments to my URLs.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? cyberspahn 10/28/09 4:54 AM
I just found out about this and I would also really like to opt out!

I do not want anything in a frame over my website content. I spend hours and hours just trying to make the site valid XHTML, valid CSS, accessible, and function across all browsers...now, I have to worry about people with personal vendettas, competitors spamming my pages, etc.

And yes, I understand it's a side bar and not really on my site...but a novice internet user may think those comments are ON my site.

I wonder what can be done? This is the stupidest Google creation ever...and I have been a fan through the years even though my sites rank better in Yahoo.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 10/28/09 8:06 AM
>>I do not want anything in a frame over my website content
You haven't got one... even with sidewiki


>>And yes, I understand it's a side bar and not really on my site...but a novice internet user may think those comments are ON my site.
Novice users may also think the moon is made of cheese and that ice cream makes computers work better (spoon it in! :) ) but that doesn't mean you need to worry about it.

STOP PANICING
Side wiki isn't a big deal. YOU have the option to make the first sticky post for your site on sidewiki which you can inform users about it and the possibility of random spam below if you wish. You can inform the novice users what they need to know.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 10/28/09 8:27 PM
@Steven Lockey
Google Sidewiki IS a big deal. It allows Google to steal a website's users and user generated content. It's plainly evil.

There are a couple of scripts that can help websites block Sidewiki until Google either allows websites to opt-out, or until Sidewiki fails from webmaster backlash. The problem with these scripts is that they append URL fragments to the end of each page's URL. I don't want to subject my visitors (or servers) to that.

It's a bad move for Google to make enemies of Webmasters/bloggers by stealing their users/content.  If there is anyone left at Google who still believes "Don't be evil", Google must allow sites to opt out of Sidewiki with robots.txt and/or meta tags -- though ideally Sidewiki will go the way of Huddlechat.
http://www.huddlechat.com/
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 10/29/09 7:25 AM
>>@Steven Lockey
Google Sidewiki IS a big deal. It allows Google to steal a website's users and user generated content. It's plainly evil.

No it doesn't.... It does NOTHING like that..... it just adds an extra window to the browser... same as say installing a toolbar does or an addon like firebug does.....


>>It's a bad move for Google to make enemies of Webmasters/bloggers by stealing their users/content.  If there is anyone left at Google who still believes "Don't be evil", Google must allow sites to opt out of Sidewiki with robots.txt and/or meta tags -- though ideally Sidewiki will go the way of Huddlechat.

Just because you don't like something doesn't make it evil..... I'm sure Microsoft and Mozilla don't like Chrome, it doesn't make it evil.
The only difference between side-wiki and a forum about websites is that the sidewiki has an option to display alongside the website it is talking about ONLY if 1: You have installed the toolbar 2: You have activated side-wiki manually.
The users coming to your website, ARE STILL COMING TO YOUR WEBSITE
The content on the website, IS STILL YOUR CONTENT
This hasn't changed, side wiki hasn't stolen your content, indeed there isn't a copy of your content on sidewiki at all unless someone manually goes through and copy/pastes your content into sidewiki.

Don't forget you can leave a comment as well and as site owner your comment will always appear first. How many people do you think read past the first page? Make a long comment and you will be fine! If someone starts posting shit you can post on your comment about it before they even see the negative comment! I doubt you will notice any real difference with sidewiki to be honest.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Gotcha- 10/29/09 10:44 AM
A comment to all of the Google apologists commenting here; please append your URL so we can continue this open, web 2.0, free use discussion in the sidewiki on your home page, along with whatever diatribe may cross our mind at the time and perhaps we will be kind enough to post links to your competition's website.

On a serious note...Will comments in sidewiki be indexed in Google? Yeah, you know where I'm going with this...Will disparaging remarks made on sidewiki about a company become part of the search results?
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? danrochman 10/29/09 11:45 AM
@Gotcha  Hi, I'm a "Google apologist" (board certified!!), and you're being silly.  Please append your e-mail address(es), so that we can forward it to all the world's spammers.  Then you can scream all you want about how we should all opt out of using e-mail, too.

Most current estimates agree that about 90% (or more!) of global e-mail traffic is currently made up of "unwanted e-mail" - spam and the like [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E-mail_spam#As_a_percentage_of_the_total_volume_of_e-mail].  Yet no one is seriously proposing that we all opt out of using e-mail.  Because e-mail is (otherwise) so incredibly useful, we just set up systems to catch and destroy most of the spam, viruses, phishing attacks, and other nasty forms of e-mail.  In doing so, we incur a fairly significant overhead of spam filter development and maintenance, wasted servers/storage, wasted bandwidth, wasted time, and some false positives/negatives.  We accept that even with all that overhead, e-mail is INCREDIBLY useful, and that opting out entirely is not a serious option - at least not until an equally widespread replacement arrives.

So, there WILL be (at least some) spam on Sidewiki.  Get over it.  If Sidewiki is otherwise useful, and if the systems are (now, or soon) in place to deal with most of the spam for us, in a relatively fair and efficient way, then we'll accept the overheads/costs and continue to use it.  If it's just not useful enough (no wide adoption, poor entry quality, eclipsed by a competing technology, overrun with spam, etc.), then we won't.  But all the claims being made here about how it usurps control, steals visitors, pushes spam (etc.), are all, at this point, just speculation, or total FUD.  It's an interesting new application that may turn out to be useful/beneficial, and so far hasn't harmed anyone - at least not that I'm aware of.

And AFAIK, Sidewiki comments will be indexed.  But disparaging remarks about companies are already part of the search results, and always have been.  Do a Google search on "starbucks".  I can assure you that www.ihatestarbucks.com will show up in the top ten hits.  How is any of this really new?
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? tattoos 10/29/09 12:07 PM
>> sidewiki has an option to display alongside the website it is talking about ONLY if
>> 1: You have installed the toolbar
>> 2: You have activated side-wiki manually.


Rubbish
!
If that was the case then I would never have posted my concerns in this thread.

Exhibit 1:.http://www.google.com/sidewiki/entry/101258152762098526443/id/i7DKX7UvI-quGmgncPdQk8hcvG0?hl=en
Exhibit 2: http://www.google.com/sidewiki/entry/gustingorrix/id/hd7wb9V73HgmXIRTpwci2jgr7vg

See?

Cheers
James

Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 10/29/09 7:11 PM
The point is that we don't want our sites GOOGjacked by a tool that posts content on top of our sites. We want a way to opt out. That's it. Google needs to respect the wishes of Web publishers and not force that crap on our websites.  There *will* be a movement against Google Toolbar if they don't let webmasters opt out of Sidewiki.

@tattoos -- thanks for posting those links. So, Google is indexing Sidewiki entries and showing them in the SERPs along with a framejacked version of the page.  Terrible.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 10/30/09 3:02 AM
Tattoos --- You've listed the address for the sidewiki which is on Google's website.....
That is a page on the Google domain that redirects to your pages with the sidewiki open to allow for that functionality. If you deliberatly click a sidewiki link then yes... you will get the sidewiki open automatically....

What happens when you type your address in the address bar or click your site in the SERPs?

I don't see any sidewiki results or pages that open with the sidewiki open on the search page you posted....

Again.... there is nothing been posted 'on' your site. If users install tools to see other content at the same time on their browser thats none of your business as a site owner. Its like saying 'anyone who browses my site isn't allowed to use another browser to do a search about my company' which is effectively all side-wiki does.

Google doesn't need to respect the wishes of Web publishers, it's proved this time and time again. It's customers are the searchers not the webmasters.
While the searchers keep coming to Google, the webmasters need Google a lot more than it needs them!



Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? nathanziarek 11/3/09 8:05 PM
Steven appears to have a really good handle on this.

Imagine for a second two pages: 1) a page on your site and 2) a forum thread talking about the page on your site. Now, put them side-by-side. That's all we're talking about.

You can no more "opt out" of that forum site being able to talk about your page than you can "opt out" of competitors disparaging your site on Twitter.

Is Google indexing Sidewiki pages? Absolutely, just as they index the blog posts linking to your site, for better or for worse. All Google has done is made it easier for you to see the data on the web next to the page it is referring to.

How is that evil?
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? tattoos 11/3/09 9:39 PM
>> You've listed the address for the sidewiki which is on Google's website.....
>> That is a page on the Google domain that redirects to your pages with the sidewiki open to allow for that functionality.
>> If you deliberatly click a sidewiki link then yes... you will get the sidewiki open automatically
....

I think you missed my point,
you claimed that sidewiki will be displayed beside your site ONLY if.. 1. you have installed the toolbar and 2. you have activated sidewiki manually. Which was simply not the case.

The link I posted to the open sidewiki comment accompanying a Google results page, I found "without" having the toolbar installed and "without" activating sidewiki manually. (It was in the SERP's)

I don't have any particular problems with sidewiki myself, in fact, I think the more people engaging, talking, critiquing and giving feedback about my site the better (unless they are deliberately spreading FUD and unfairly discrediting it), but I do accept and understand the concerns that some people had regarding the indexing of individual sidewiki entries.
which BTW, should no longer be of concern http://bit.ly/1T9lhe
meta name="title" content="Google Sidewiki entry on &quot;Chatter | Corrente&quot;"
meta name="description" content="This cryptic... "
meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow"


Good move Google.

Cheers
James
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? crunchy 12/1/09 8:34 PM
Sidewiki is an absolute disgrace to all that Google claims to stand for.  As a small business owner, the ability for competitors to freely advertise on my site - a site I pay for and work hard to maintain - is unacceptable!  If I wanted to have competitors use my site to advertise, then I would have signed up for Adsense.  It is also why I refuse to use Twitter.

Furthermore, I pay to advertise my site and work hard to maintain a high page ranking so that my visitors will purchase from my webstore - not so that they can read anonymous 'reviews' of my performance or advertisements from my competitors.  While it is true that someone could use Twitter or some other such means to write negative comments or competitive advertisements, the main difference is that a user would only find those by searching the internet for those sites.  They would then need to go to those other sites to read those comments.  No website owner would ever pay for and work so hard to maintain a secure site, only to sit back and allow their competition free range to advertise on it - utilizing the site owners hard work to gain exposure.

This intrusion by Google on my paid, private website is not welcomed.  If Google insists on continuing this feature, then Google needs to provide website owners with a code, that can be added to the main header, which will disable Sidewiki from working.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 12/2/09 3:11 AM
>>As a small business owner, the ability for competitors to freely advertise on my site - a site I pay for and work hard to maintain - is unacceptable!

They can't unless your server is hacked or unless you put the advertisments there yourself. Sidewiki is not 'on' your site.


>>Furthermore, I pay to advertise my site and work hard to maintain a high page ranking so that my visitors will purchase from my webstore - not so that they can read anonymous 'reviews' of my performance or advertisements from my competitors.

Unsurprisingly Google don't really care about your site or your business, it's not their job to.
Not only that as the site owner you get a 'piroity' entry on sidewiki which means you can put up a comment that fills the front page so in order to see other user's comments they will have to click the next button as well, so basically the negative comments will only appear for people looking for them if you are smart.


>>While it is true that someone could use Twitter or some other such means to write negative comments or competitive advertisements, the main difference is that a user would only find those by searching the internet for those sites.

Acctually they are more likely to come up in the SERPs for people searching for YOUR site. Which is worse, the bad comments appearing in the search results before the link to your site or them appearing in the sidebar which only a small % of the users will have installed and only a much smaller % will actually look at once on your site.

>>No website owner would ever pay for and work so hard to maintain a secure site, only to sit back and allow their competition free range to advertise on it - utilizing the site owners hard work to gain exposure.

They don't and they can't, see comments above.


>>This intrusion by Google on my paid, private website is not welcomed.  If Google insists on continuing this feature, then Google needs to provide website owners with a code, that can be added to the main header, which will disable Sidewiki from working.

What intrusion? Your complaining because they built a forum for people to comment on website? Or because there is a tool which allows you to view that forum side by side with your site? Are you also planning to lobby for the banning of people with two monitors or two browsers from the internet since they can achieve the same affect simply by doing a search for comments about your site on the 2nd browser?

Why should Google allow you to disable side-wiki? Its the same as a forum for comments about websites to allow webmasters to make their site 'not commentable' so that no-one is allowed to talk about their website.

The fuss is not because of what the tool does, its simply because its from a big company like Google, so a lot of people will possibly be affected. Other than thats its simply a forum search tool really.


Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? DaveP 12/2/09 7:17 AM
It just seems like another avenue for loudmouths and attention seekers to give themselves their 15 minutes of fame. Take a look at Microsoft's web site with Sidewiki.  Two out of the three entries are complaining about how IE8 isn't web standards compliant--as if MS makes one product. Oh the horror!  For all practical purposes it turns every site and company into victims of tabloid journalism--no accountability--just pure spew.  There's already so much garbage in the sidewiki it is useless for me and will remain off.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 12/3/09 5:42 AM
@Steven The point is that Google created a tool that will hijack comments and users from websites. It's easier for visitors who are logged into Google to post their comments about a page in Sidewiki than to create an account on the websites they are viewing. The long-term effect is that site owners will get fewer user registrations and fewer comments. Google wins, the websites loose. Websites want a way to opt-out. That is all Google has to do to make this less evil. Remember Microsoft Smart Tags? Similiar thing. We just want a simple way to opt out, whether in a meta tag or robots.txt file.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 12/3/09 6:20 AM
@grep
The point I'm making is that anyone can make a forum and a program to view that forum in a side window of your browser.
Hell sidewiki is only ONE of the programs that can do this.

Do you get the power to stop people commenting on your site in a forum thread? No
Do you get the power to stop people running the program to display this side by side with your site? No

The only new thing about sidewiki is that IF you have it setup to run, it makes it easier to find the comments about that site. Thats all.....


And why the hell do webmasters care if they get less registrations for their site if all the user is doing is making comments. These don't make the webmaster any money or do anything useful really. If they want to buy anything or use the other functionality of the site they still need to log on to the site.....
In fact not having these people make accounts on their server will for most webmasters be a benefit and they don't have to deal with the issues of account management (waahhaha I can't remember my username/password), security or the data protection act. In fact the only people who would complain about this are the arseholes who sell e-mail address to spam companies and to be honest I'm GLAD if they go out of business ;)
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? gdwilson 12/3/09 10:01 AM
Steven,

>> The point I'm making is that anyone can make a forum and a
>> program to view that forum in a side window of your browser

But not jut anyone has the power Google does.

If MS or FF built this into the browser, Google Drones would
look at it differently.

>> And why the hell do webmasters care if they get less registrations
>> for their site if all the user is doing is making comments. These
>> don't make the webmaster any money or do anything useful really.
>> If they want to buy anything or use the other functionality of the
>> site they still need to log on to the site.....

You are either not a webmaster/site owner or not a good one. I say
this because by having the comments on MY site, does things like:

1.) Increases MY content
2.) Increases MY site sticky
3.) Increases MY traffic

All of which makes ME more money not Google.

Google is using SideWiki to get stats and might even use the ratings
to help with SE rankings and of course will display ads on it.

>> In fact not having these people make accounts on their server
>> will for most webmasters be a benefit and they don't have to deal
>> with the issues of account management (waahhaha I can't remember
>> my username/password), security or the data protection act.

None of that is an issue for good webmasters.

>> In fact the only people who would complain about this are the
>> arseholes who sell e-mail address to spam companies and to be
>> honest I'm GLAD if they go out of business ;)

You're an idiot.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 12/4/09 4:45 AM
>> The point I'm making is that anyone can make a forum and a
>> program to view that forum in a side window of your browser

>>>But not jut anyone has the power Google does.

>>>If MS or FF built this into the browser, Google Drones would
>>>look at it differently.
Errr so basically you are discriminating against Google for been Google..... well that makes sense.... NOT
And I'd look at it the same way assuming it was an identical product, I think MS would do it differently however.


>>You are either not a webmaster/site owner or not a good one. I say
>>this because by having the comments on MY site, does things like:
>>1.) Increases MY content
>>2.) Increases MY site sticky
>>3.) Increases MY traffic

>>All of which makes ME more money not Google.

Well if you think that you are not a good webmaster.......
Having the comments on your site-
1- Increases the content yes, with mostly irrelevant keywords and often messes up and keyword and text work that you've done. Particually if the conversation in the comment, while relevant, doesn't meantion your keywords.
2- Increasees site sticky?? WTF is site sticky? If you are refering to user time on site then comments rarely achieve this cos most user comments are crap, if anything while badly put this is the only one of your complaints that really has any merit and in these cases it is very likely the user is commenting on a specific topic so will use the on site comments anyway....
3- Yes because they are looking at the side wiki and not your site..... Are you stupid? If they are looking at the sidewiki they are ON YOUR SITE so this doesn't affect traffic at all.

And no, none of that directly makes you money. Most of it will probably hurt your site rather than help it.


>>Google is using SideWiki to get stats and might even use the ratings
>>to help with SE rankings and of course will display ads on it.

Proof or GTFO? Possible but you are making assumptions and treating them like facts.

>>None of that is an issue for good webmasters.
Really? Having to spend time on stuff like stupid users isn't an Issue? Most people find wasted time an issue.

>>You're an idiot.
First thing I read of your post, if you think spammers are good then personally I think you are the moron here.
There is no real reason to want a list of e-mail addresses for people who are just leaving a comment on your site (other than validation of the comment to prevent spammers) there is no real reason to have it stored. In fact you are legally obliged to delete them in the UK after a certain amount of time of inactivity (2 years I think) which while it may not be a big job still involves extra programming on the site.

Of course who can argue with really constructive and intelligent arguements like 'you're an idiot', I mean it explains your reasoning and why so well and says it in a really mature and sensible fashion doesn't it.......


Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 12/5/09 12:02 AM
>> And why the hell do webmasters care if they get less registrations for their site if all the user is doing is making comments. These don't make the webmaster any money or do anything useful really. If they want to buy anything or use the other functionality of the site they still need to log on to the site.....

@Steven
You don't seem to understand how Web publishing works.  Ever sold a website?  User registrations and comments are highly valuable.  Google is robbing webmasters.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? DurangoBill 12/9/09 9:40 AM
I don’t know if it will do any good, but the following is a copy of a complaint that I filed with the FTC.
https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/


Dear Sirs,

Google (the Internet search engine company) has recently added a new program “SideWiki” that allows anyone to add comments to any website. http://www.google.com/sidewiki/intl/en/index.html The program will run on anyone’s computer who has installed the Google Toolbar.

These comments could contain Spam, advertising, pornographic material, who knows what, etc. The comments will be displayed on anyone else’s computer who also has the Google Toolbar installed. The owner of the website has no way to prevent these other comments from being displayed.

I have a personal website that I run at http://www.durangobill.com that I consider to be my private property. I do not want Spam, advertising, pornographic material, who knows what, etc. being displayed along with my material. I consider Google’s action to be an infringement of my privacy.  

Can you force Google to discontinue its “SideWiki” program or at least allow website owners to opt out of what I think is a blatant invasion of privacy?
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? GreenReaper 12/10/09 5:35 AM
This is the Internet. You don't have any privacy, especially if you run a website. Get used to it.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 1/18/10 4:15 AM
LOL at Durango Bill.

Your problem here is that this is not the equilivent of someone setting up a billboard in your house, its the equivilent of someone posting a billboard on the pavement outside your house with permission of the pavement owner(the computer in this case) so given the sidewiki isn't on your private property then you don't really have grounds for a complaint.

People here are complaining out of:
1- Fear of spam (Which there are several methods to limit the impact of if you've read lots of useful comments)
2- An excuse to have a go at Google.

There is no legal or moral issues here that I can see.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 1/18/10 12:58 PM
@Steven Lockey

You're missing the point.

3. SideWiki uses Google's position as the largest force on the Web to build a system that hijacks comments (UGC) and user registrations from websites.  Google gains content at the expense of webmasters. It isn't right to do that without webmasters' permission. It's a similar situation as Microsoft Smart Tags, except Microsoft allowed blocking it with meta tags...
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 1/19/10 5:18 AM
No, if they where hijacking it then it would appear automatically on any website that you click on in Google searches. That would be using it's force on the web. Google isn't gaining any content at ALL from this.

For the sidewiki comments to appear you have install the toolbar and THEN click on the blue arrow thingy on the left to make the side wiki appear.

Yeah I get it that you don't like not been able to control the comments about your site, but quite frankly tough.
I don't like a lot of things from human greed to corrupt politicans to other people winning the lottery instead of me ;) Doesn't mean they are immoral or wrong.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 1/19/10 12:40 PM
@Steven Lockey

Sorry, but you don't understand the situation from the Web publishers' perspective.

Google does gain content from Sidewiki. That's what comments are: content that is stored on Google's servers.  Content is highly valuable.  User registrations are highly valuable.  Many companies make a living in a large part from user-generated content (UGC) and user registrations.

If Google creates a system that integrates into a large number of browsers (or even operating system) that makes it easier for website visitors to click the "blue arrow thingy" and leave a comment on Google than to click "register or login to leave a comment", the webmasters are going to lose out on comments (or other UGC) and user registrations.  Google hijacks the UGC and uses their dominance on the Internet to provide incentive for the user NOT to sign up for the independent website.

It is wrong of Google to do this because they are unfairly using their power on the Internet to completely change the landscape of how UGC works.  This unfairly moves UGC from webmaster/website ownership to Google ownership.

Is Google making a sinister grab for complete dominance of UGC on the Web, or are the builders of Sidewiki just ignorant about the larger picture of what they are doing? (The bull in the China shop unaware of what it's doing.)

The answer isn't even important. All webmasters want is a way to block Sidewiki. It's not too much to ask.  Microsoft let us block smarttags; Google should let us block Sidewiki.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 1/20/10 2:20 AM
>>Google does gain content from Sidewiki. That's what comments are: content that is stored on Google's servers.  Content is highly valuable.  User registrations are highly valuable.  Many companies make a living in a large part from user-generated content (UGC) and user registrations.

Fair point, HOWEVER most user generated comments are not highly valuable, in fact they are more likely to HURT your pages SEO than do anything else.


>>It is wrong of Google to do this because they are unfairly using their power on the Internet to completely change the landscape of how UGC works.  This unfairly moves UGC from webmaster/website ownership to Google ownership.

Google have no power over the internet, they have power over their search engine only..... Hell they COULD make all results from their SERPs going to the page with the sidewiki open if they wanted to use their power to screw webmasters over.

If the USER chooses to install sidewiki AND click the fairly discrete arrow then yes they can comment on the sidewiki instead of on the site itself. Thats the user's choice. Basically you are complaining that Google are giving the users a choice of places to put comments instead of them been forced to place the comment directly on your site.

Given the number of dodgy sites out there I think this is a good think from a searcher's/user's perspective, not as good for webmasters I agree but again, webmasters aren't Google's customers, the searchers are.

Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 1/20/10 10:14 AM
UGC does *NOT* hurt your SEO -- comments are very beneficial to SEO (just be sure to delete the spam).

Quick example of how UGC plays a part in the algorithm:
http://imgur.com/yFUhY

Webmasters are Google's customers too. Webmasters helped, and continue to help, make Google what it is. It's just as important for Google to make webmasters (publishers, bloggers) happy as searchers.  Google (and the other search engines)  gives webmasters a lot of free tools to try to build webmaster loyalty. If Web publishers do not like a search engine, that search engine will not succeed.

The old StumbleUpon toolbar is an example of a toolbar that allows users to comment on a webpage in a responsible way.  To comment on or review a website, you click a button and it takes you to stumbleupon.com. (SU made a mistake with their new framejacking bar, but that is another story.)

I don't care if people review my websites, but Google does not have the right to put their own content *on top* of my websites in a way that essentially adds content on top of my site and steals UGC and user registrations.

All webmasters want is a way to opt-out. I'm not asking Google to abandon Sidewiki -- only to let us opt out.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 1/21/10 6:41 AM
Firebug puts 'content' on top of your site.
Toolbars put 'content' on top of your site.

Practically every addon for any browser does.

Webmasters are NOT Google's customers, yes if a huge number of webmasters blocked Google this would be a problem for Google but that doesn't make you their customer.

The USER should decide if he wants to use Sidewiki or not, not the webmaster. It's the user's browser that it is installed on so it's the user's choice. If it was directly on the site then it would be your choice. Basically you want to take this choice away from the user's of your website. Well tough :)

If you want to block all users using Googletoolbar there are ways to do this and it's your choice if you want to do this as it's a site issue. That will allow you to not ever have sidewiki on your site if you want... ofc you want the traffic from Google and Google toolbar users, you just don't want what comes with it.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 1/21/10 11:03 AM
Firebug is not content -- it just provides technical information about a webpage that already exists on the page and is not displayed to other users.  It has no effect on the website or the webmaster.

There is no toolbar that puts content on your website that has Google's reach.

Webmasters ARE Google's customers. Why do you think they created Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, Google AdWords?  Unlike Google's search customers the webmaster customers actually pay Google most of their money.  Google does not take money from their searchers, they take money from the webmasters.

Just because it is possible for Google to build something, doesn't mean that it should be built.  Microsoft could (and has) used dubious methods to take large shares of the computer world. Yes, it is possible for companies with a lot of power to use that power to twist people's arms and/or steamroll over other people and seize control (UGC in this case), but that doesn't mean that it is right or okay.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 1/22/10 1:59 AM
>>Firebug is not content -- it just provides technical information about a webpage that already exists on the page and is not displayed to other users.  It has no effect on the website or the webmaster.

Yes because technical information isn't a form of content..... honest!......
Because the webmaster designed that technical information to be displayed on the page...... honest!......

Google are giving the searches the CHOICE if they want to use sidewiki, you are saying it's the webmasters who should have that choice. I disagree, Google entirely understandably are more concerned about what searchers NOT webmasters want, given there are a lot more searchers than webmasters and given that searchers ARE a lot more important to Google's bottom line profits than most webmasters this makes total sence.

No webmasters are NOT google customers in general, Adwords customers are the excepetion to this. You average webmaster with no Adwords is not a google customer, the fact they give you FREE tools to use as a gift does not make you their customer.

To be entirely literal its the combination of the searchers and the adwords advertisers that are the customers. The searchers pay with clicks which translate into cash from the advertisers.

As for WHY google created webmaster tools e.t.c. If you think about it for two seconds, a better and more searchable web is better for Google and will result in them making more money.... You don't suppose that might have been their motivation for making these rather than some 'we need to give our customers including the ones who make us zero money something free' motive that you seem to believe.

Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 1/22/10 8:57 AM
Firebug does not allow visitor X to add content to your website that is visible to visitor Y. It has no effect on the operation of your website and how it affects your visitors. CSS and JavaScript data are not content in the traditional sense, and a single user modifying HTML/CSS/JS code for only himself has absolutely no effect on the website or the Web publisher.  Firebug is not deliverable "content" any more than buying a book in a bookstore and underlining some words in the book with a pen for your own personal use.

Google Webmaster Tools are a carrot on a stick to get webmasters to sign up and interact with Google (as well as provide data for Google).  The three major search engines work very hard to build webmaster loyalty. Try blocking your website from msnbot with robots.txt, and see what happens.

Webmasters ARE Google's customers -- not just AdWords, but also AdSense.  Google needs to retain those customers, because if they leave or another competitor comes along with something better than AdSense or AdWords, Google would be in trouble. I'll bet Google has a huge number of account managers for webmasters.  Webmasters are customers.

The point is that Google has built a system that, if adopted on a large scale, will hijack UGC and users from independent webmasters and give those highly valuable resources to Google. It's a sinister (whether intended or not) move to change the landscape of UGC on the Web.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 1/25/10 2:10 AM
Errr actually Adsence people aren't really Google's customers. They sell their ad-space to Google and get paid per click/1000 impressions/whatever.
Really Google are just serving as middlemen between the adwords and adsence customers and taking their cut in the middle.

So basically you are saying this is only a problem if it's picked up by a large % of people? So its not a problem at the moment?

I still don't agree that UGC is good for SEO at all, but at the end of the day

1- Nothing on your site has been modified.
2- It only displays if the searcher ways it to, it isn't forced to appear
3- It's not the only thing that does this by a long way (firebug was perhaps not the best example but there are quite a few others, alexa plugins e.t.c.)
4- The only real complaint about the software seems to be thats it from Google and people are afraid of it stealing all their comments. Not going to happen anytime soon, it might become a techie's playground but for the moment thats it ;)
5- You can easily block users who choose to use Google Toolbar, thats your choice. You just can't shut-down features of that toolbar at your whim cos because they are on your website.


Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 1/25/10 2:11 AM
Meant to say at the start 'Google are Adsence people's customers, hence why Google is paying them not visa versa, they are selling ads not buying them'
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 2/3/10 1:37 PM
UGC is highly beneficial for SEO and for the overall value of a website.  E.g., Tripadvisor's value comes from UGC both from content value and SEO value. (a single quick example -- there are countless other examples: 43things.com, Yahoo Answers, Digg, Reddit, Yelp, Epinions, Amazon reviews, etc.)

The technical side of SEO is basically:

1. Crawlability
2. Keyword expansion (UGC is one of the best methods of keyword expansion -- long tail keywords. The other top method is blogging, which depends on comments on your own blog. Sidewiki steals comments from blogs too.)
3. Inbound links
4. Keyword placement

We're just going to be rehashing the same points here.  Google has to keep AdSense customers happy or they will switch to other advertising platforms. AdSense is just one tool in their webmaster suite -- Google expects a significant AdSense users to also buy AdWords, use Google Analytics, etc.

Sidewiki falls into the same category as framejacking (only legal because the law hasn't caught up with technology.) There is nothing comparable to Sidewiki that has the massive reach of Google.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 2/3/10 1:39 PM
That should say, "Google expects a significant *number of* AdSense users to also buy AdWords, use Google Analytics, etc."
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 2/4/10 2:23 AM
/facepalms grep

Its nothing like framejacking, Google hasn't stolen your content and surronded it with ads....... Don't be moronic please
This is a USER SIDE add-on, completely different from a frame-jack with is website and can't be disabled from the user-side other than disabling all frams.
If the USER wants to use side-wiki that is their choice and they will KNOW they are using it as opposed to a frame which is invisible.

No side-wiki won't steal comments from blogs...
You want to know why? Most blogs have their most recent article on the home-page, when a new post comes this will move off the home-page so is on a different URL, so your comment would be on a post that doesn't exist... Hence most people will still use the blog comments. In fact most people ONLY use side-wiki for overall comments about the site from what I can see rather than commenting on specific pages at all.

There might be the occasional comment but again this is the user's choice where they would like to leave their comment.

Basically you want to FORCE users to post where you want them to post. Google is giving them the option of posting elsewhere.

You are arguing that not giving users that option is a good thing and that keeping you happy is more important to Google than keeping it's other customers (the ones who actually make Google money which you don't as a adsence customer, you are selling ad-space to Google which actually makes them your customer) which is quite honestly non-sence.

I like side-wiki, it has some good features and it helps with outting scams. If someone does post a load of unverifiable shit on your side-wiki Google will almost certainly remove it if the material is liabilious.

Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 2/8/10 9:32 AM
No need to be insulting. You ignore major points and then use personal insults that don't help your argument.

Framejacking doesn't necessarily imply that ads are being shown (e.g., ow.ly, su.pr).

People use Sidewiki to comment on blog posts, not just the homepage -- and that will increase as Sidewiki use increases.

E.g.,
http://www.buzzmachine.com/2009/09/23/google-sidewiki-danger/
http://searchengineland.com/google-sidewiki-allows-anyone-to-comment-about-any-site-26420
http://searchenginewatch.com/3635252

We can leave AdSense out of the argument because either way, webmasters are Google customers. You're ignoring that most of the money Google makes comes from webmasters.

All webmasters are asking for is a way to disable Sidewiki on individual sites.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 2/9/10 4:38 AM
>>We can leave AdSense out of the argument because either way, webmasters are Google customers. You're ignoring that most of the money Google makes comes from webmasters.

No.... Only Adwords users are Google's customers in this sence, a non-adwords webmaster is NOT a Google customer. You don't pay to get your site listed in Google.

No sales = No customer.... Potential customer maybe but that its. Customer means you are/have bought something from them.


>>Framejacking doesn't necessarily imply that ads are being shown (e.g., ow.ly, su.pr).
No but that is the most common usage of framejacking. I also pointed out the other differences between this and framejacking like the fact the user isn't taken off site, the user can disable side-wiki e.t.c.


>>All webmasters are asking for is a way to disable Sidewiki on individual sites.
I'd like a feature to stop users been able to leave my site.... all I need is to disable the user's back button and address bar.... Since these are both browser based features LIKE side-wiki it should be the same right?

Its a browser based feature, like all other browser based features you can't disabled it for your site.

If I created a version of Sidewiki that was my own but didn't have Google behind it, even if I spread it round the web like crazy I doubt there would be so much fuss over it. I see a lot of 'its from Google so it must be bad' here and the only other real arguement is that it can take away user comments from website which aren't actually very valuable and can hurt SEO anyway. Sometimes they can help it yes but no-one should be buying a site based on comments/log-ins when the best metrics are new visitors and conversion rates neither of which side-wiki will affect.

Google have already given the webmaster the ability to fill the 1st page of the side-wiki with whatever they want, so they can even push any spam/crap off the first page, disabling it completely for sites just seems like overkill and would probably kill it for the sites that need it most (IE scams e.t.c.)

I agree a review process for removing bad comments would be nice as well cos there will be bad spam on occasions.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? JohnMu 2/9/10 4:54 AM
Hi Steven

One thing I do for my sites (and even for this forum) is to subscribe to the SideWiki feed so that I am notified of comments left behind when they are made. You can do that as described in the documentation at http://code.google.com/apis/sidewiki/docs/2.0/reference_guide.html

For example, for the Google Webmaster Central blog (you can do this for any site), I added the following feed to my Google Reader account:
http://www.google.com/sidewiki/feeds/entries/domainpath/googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com%2F/default?sortorder=updated&includeLessUseful=true

While only my personal experience, the spam that I have seen in SideWiki (as quickly visible through the feed) is dealt with fairly quickly.

Cheers
John
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 2/9/10 6:11 AM
Nice John, thanks. I didn't know this was possible but its nice! :)


Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 2/9/10 10:14 AM
@JohnMu
That doesn't help the fact that Google created a tool that hijacks comments and users from websites.  That is the issue even more than spam.

Why aren't you letting webmasters opt-out? Microsoft's Smart Tags (a similar situation) can be opted-out of.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? djpc 2/21/10 3:05 PM
I agree that this sidewiki thing can be usefull to SEARCH customers, and it is their CHOICE wether they have it installed on their browser or not.

The issue is that it is open to slander, false claims and abuse.

There will be businesses out there who will create false complaints / allergations to slander competitors so that they can hijack the customers for themselfs. There is nothing the owner of the website can do about these type of people. It's not just a website, it's somebody's business / livelyhood.

i.e "I hired this person to do such and such and they didn't turn up. Don't use them, use us instead".
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? wmcleod 4/11/10 1:40 PM
Really people?

1) YOU DO NOT OWN THE INTERNET EITHER. I get it. I have a website, and at the thought of someone else posting something inflammatory on MY site's google sidewiki immediately felt a revulsion to the perceived loss of power. But then I thought again and realized that people have a right to their opinion and all this does is allow them to express it.  I never really had the power to control/limit that. All I had was ignorance to their points of view.

2) Your site has not been hijacked.  Your bandwidth remains untouched. Google is allowing people to see each others comments at their own discretion. You webmasters do control your own website.  You, however, do not have the right to tell people what to do with their browsers. If I want to use my browser to share comments relevant to a website (in a clearly market separate entity) who the hell are you to demand that I can't? If you don't like what users have to say, fix your site, or turn off your own Sidebar. I bet you'd like to delete negative wikipedia articles about your site too.  Guess what, you can't, that isn't yours to own and neither is this. This is NO DIFFERENT than Wikipedia, just because it is more accessible.

3) Show me ONE example of porn or ads on the sidewiki... Amongst all this talk about what might be, google seems to have done a pretty good job ensuring that it doesn't happen.  If parents want to turn it off, let them. They can... simple enough.

Its kinda scary how desperately people cling to a sense of power they derived from 'ownership.'  Nothing has been taken from you. You remind me of the small town mayor who thinks he "owns this town," or the old west sheriff who "Is the Law." People are what make your site worth the time you put into it, and as long as this app serves people, people have every right to use it. Go ahead and blocktoolbar users if you want, I use chrome, where it is an extension that doesn't show up under toolbars.

That said, If you really NEED to outsmart google for some reason, just randomize the URLs. Sidewiki has trouble keeping up with non-unique URLs. But I really hope you learn to live with the reality you've been a part of all along.  You don't own the internet.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 4/11/10 3:55 PM
I didn't say the website has been hijacked -- I said the comments and users are getting hijacked.

I gave three examples above where visitors are commenting on Sidewiki instead of the actual website:
http://www.buzzmachine.com/2009/09/23/google-sidewiki-danger/
http://searchengineland.com/google-sidewiki-allows-anyone-to-comment-about-any-site-26420
http://searchenginewatch.com/3635252

That's just a small example of things to come.

Like I said, comments (UGC) and user registrations are highly valuable.  Imagine a UGC website like Tripadvisor with no comments.  It would be nearly worthless.

There are two alternative ways to do it:

StumbleUpon style: the installable toolbar lets visitors know there are comments, but the comments are displayed on StumbleUpon's own website, not on top of someone else's website.

Disqus style: a third-party integrated commenting system that is *opt-in* only.

If you are just a Web surfer and not a publisher who relies on UGC, it will make no difference to you.  It's the UGC publishers that are getting screwed by Google.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 4/12/10 1:09 AM
Again Grep-o, that may be better for you but that is restricting the freedoms of the user.


Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 4/12/10 2:07 AM
Not necessarily.  Websites give users content for free, and have to make money somehow.  Google Sidewiki is bad for the entire Web in general by centralizing content for many websites with one single company.  The Web was intended to be and should remain decentralized.  Every website should control their own comments, users and content.  Google is making an unethical grab for one of the most valuable things that websites have.

Just because it's possible to build something, doesn't mean that Google should build it.  A classic example is HuddleChat:
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/huddlechat_campfire_rip.php

Yes, it would be cool if Google made a free application just like Campfire (expensive and feature-limited), but they had to step on someone else's project to do it.

In that case, Google realized their mistake and did the right thing by shutting the project down:
http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_takes_down_huddlechat.php

I'm not saying that Google has to completely shut down Sidewiki; only that in its current form is a highly unethical (and/or naive?) attack on independent publishers.  Webmasters want a way to opt out. Users lose nothing by a webmaster opting out -- users can still comment directly on the websites.

It really doesn't affect you if some webmasters opt out.  I'm not sure why you're spending your time arguing about it.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 4/12/10 2:09 AM
When I wrote, "Every website should control their own comments, users and content," I meant:

Every website should have the option to control their own comments, users and content.  Some websites choose to use 3rd party commenting tools like Disqus.  I think it's a bad idea, but it is the webmaster's choice.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 4/12/10 2:31 AM
For Google:

Only 36 of 65 people found the top answer in this thread helpful.  That suggests that ~45% of the people who visit this thread are not satisfied that there is no way to opt out of Sidewiki.  Shouldn't Google be taking that as a very strong hint?

More evidence that many people want a way to opt out:
http://imgur.com/YEIlJ.png
http://imgur.com/hM47V.png
http://imgur.com/Jen8s.png
http://imgur.com/f4pXM.png
http://imgur.com/axduZ.png
http://imgur.com/XIlqc.png
http://imgur.com/cRvpE.png
http://imgur.com/z5tkq.png
http://imgur.com/b2urf.png
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? seo101 4/12/10 2:37 AM
I notice that the world has not ended since this thread started. No one really cares. Get over it and move on.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 4/12/10 3:38 AM
>>only that in its current form is a highly unethical (and/or naive?) attack on independent publishers.

Yes, because if I run a shop, people been allowed to spread bad press about it is bad for me.... Should I be able to stop them discussing it when they want, where they want? No.....
They can discuss how crap your shop is in your shop if you want, all you can do is throw them out the shop, which you can easily do here by blocking all Google Toolbar users which is your choice.....

If you provide a decent quality website that is worth adding on directly then they will. Most people who leave comments on sidewiki (other than spam) will be about the website in general rather than specific 'page' comments like these are normally on commentable websites.

You webmasters are LUCKY that Google brought out sidewiki, I hate to think what certain other companies would have done with it had they thought of the idea first (Stuffed full of ads and always open if you want it or not probably)

Google have bent over backwards to accomidate the problems that webmasters have raised, however of course webmasters who run dodgy sites aren't going to like this but tough really. If your site is decent then you shouldn't notice any major affect....


>>Only 36 of 65 people found the top answer in this thread helpful.  That suggests that ~45% of the people who visit this thread are not satisfied that there is no way to opt out of Sidewiki.

So 55% are..... Majority rules me thinks :)

Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 4/13/10 4:57 PM
"Majority" (just slightly) is irrelevant. Many tech companies succeed or fail based on whether they are accepted and promoted by a relatively small number of tech savvy opinion influencers.  Webmasters and programmers are part of that opinion-influencing group.

For example, Apple is now getting a massive backlash because they have done something wrong to a very small number of programmers:
http://bit.ly/9DyvzY
A fair amount of that negative opinion of Apple is going to trickle down to average users even though most people have no clue what an API or C++ is. Because of this incident, Apple will no longer be as immune to criticism and fewer of their followers will be of the "blind lemming" type.

It's not about majority -- it's about a huge amount of dissatisfaction with Google. 45% plus the screenshots I've posted above show that *many* people are very unhappy with Sidewiki.

Other companies don't have the reach to push a tool like this on to the large number of people.  Even Microsoft failed (smart tags).  Google got away with it so far because most people blindly accept whatever Google does. (Popular opinion: Google can't do anything evil because they say "don't be evil".)

As Sidewiki gets more popular, website owners will notice that people are using Sidewiki instead of registering/commenting on their own websites and the webmasters will begin to figure out what happening.

Like I said, if a few websites block Sidewiki it has no effect on you.  You can still use Sidewiki.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 4/14/10 1:25 AM
>>Many tech companies succeed or fail based on whether they are accepted and promoted by a relatively small number of tech savvy opinion influencers.

Yes.... and these are EXACTLY the people who will understand about spam and morons who post crap whereever they can and will likely ignore the junk comments.

Lots of other companes DO have the power to put in a tool like this... hell Microsoft could of intergrated it with Windows if they wanted or IE....

Sidewiki is just a forum that pulls up the page relating to the site/page on that site you are on... nothing more.

As I said, you DO have the option to block all Google Toolbar users, that is your choice and no sidewiki will ever appear for users of your site. You could even make it display a different page for that user-agent I believe with a nice little message explaining why you aren't letting them use your website. Why you think a online store should have more rights than a offline one I'm not quite sure.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 4/14/10 1:56 AM
>> Yes.... and these are EXACTLY the people who will understand about spam and morons who post crap whereever they can and will likely ignore the junk comments.

You're missing the whole point. :)

It has already spread to Firefox Add-ons -- blocking Google Toolbar won't stop it.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 4/14/10 3:49 AM
Ok, Let me phrase it this way....

What gives you the right to say that Google can't, on it's own private server, host a user comments section about their site?
What gives you the right to say that Google can't, spending it's own money, provide a free piece of software to allow easy access to the approiate section of your site?

Its the same as if someone writes into a newspaper and the newspaper prints their letter. No matter how untrue the letter is you can't sue the newspaper for it (unless they themselves say something about it rather than just printing the letter) which is effectively happening here. Your only recourse is to sue the person who origionally posted it for slander, this is the same as on the web, your recourse is to sue the person posting the sladerous comment. Same as with the newspapers, you will probably need to get a court order to get Google/Newspaper to reveal the person's same as well.

I am very bemused as to why you still seem to think an online site should have more rights than a offline one?

A good example is a garage in Bournemouth, there was a woman parading up and down all day outside it because of the problems that garage had caused. They didn't like it but there was nothing they could do about it. If you want your freedom of expression then you don't really have the right to deny Google or other users their's. Your personal view of how the internet should be run is all well and good but there is nothing saying the internet has to be or should be like that.

I very much doubt that this will have the affect on user comments and registrations that you suppose. I've not seen any noticable drop on any of the sites that we host, users are still leaving just as many comments and we are getting just as many registrations. We've had a couple of comments on a few side-wikis but not even any spam I've seen.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 4/14/10 9:36 AM
There is no noticeable difference on the websites you host because Sidewiki is still new, and it's possible that your sites are not of the UGC type or catering to a certain audience. (You previously said you don't believe that UGC is helpful for SEO.)  I've already posted other examples.

You're still missing the point, and I don't care if you agree. :)
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? StevieD_Web 4/14/10 2:05 PM
I claimed the first slot on sidewiki for my website (example.com) with a simple (reader friendly) note that achieves the following goals: 
 
 
A)  Sidewiki is not associated with example.com
B)  Sidewiki is a Google product.
C)  Example.com does not control the information presented in Sidewiki
D)  Sidewiki could absued by others.
E)  Any information posted in Sidewiki has not been reviewed/approved by example.com and Example.com will not respond to any posts or requests for information through Sidewiki.
 
 
This way, if my competition/a spammer etc seeks to place inappropriate content in the Sidewiki, then I have already warned the viewer that the information is not being produced by example.com and we are not responsible for any abuses etc.  If a customer posts an inquiring for widgets in Sidewiki then we have already stated that we will not respond to any inquiries made through Sidewiki.
 
Oh, and we get to pass the blame unto G for any abusive content.  Kind of killing two birds with one stone.
 
 
 
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 4/14/10 3:18 PM
@StevieD_Web
I took a look at your website, and it's unlikely that it will get many negative comments because it's in an un-competitive niche compared to something like hotels -- where 100 or more businesses in one city may be furiously and unethically competing for a limited number of customers.

In industries like hotels, I guarantee that competitors will regularly be posting subtly negative comments on each other's websites. (As soon as they learn what Sidewiki is.)

Just like with Google Maps, it will be impossible to get issues resolved in any reasonable length of time.  Google will not invest resources in a customer service team large enough to deal with Sidewiki.

My main complaint against Sidewiki is about hijacking of content and users, but vandalism of websites is also an issue in some competitive industries (like hotels).
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 4/15/10 3:59 AM
I'm not missing the point....

The point is as a webmaster you don't like it.
You think it could possibly harm your site.

All this is true and I've not argued that possibility. I've pointed out that any damage is going to be FAR less than you are imply, sounds like you are just trying to use scare tactics to be honest to scare other webmasters into supporting you.

However you are saying that the user's right to use sidewiki should be restricted because of that is what I do not agree with. Google have bent over backwards when they didn't have to in order to restrict the abuse AND give the webmaster a change to get their say in first before any other comments appear.... Heck you can fill the first page up with your comment so unless the user clicks to the 2nd page they won't even see user comments.... to do as much as they can to prevent it.

It would be USELESS if webmasters could opt out cos all the really dodgy sites that do need negative comments against them would simply do this.

No matter how much you don't like this, you do NOT have the right to decide what users can or can not side. If Google do give webmasters the opt out option you can bet that another one will come out later that will be MUCH worse for you... most likely one that you have no control over and is more likely to seriously hurt your site.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Nibb 4/18/10 9:24 AM
I have being investigating the SideWiki features and ideas for 48 hours now. First I thought that it could be used as some type of reputation system or feedback but then after testing it and testing it I dont see how someone could gain an advantage from it except Google which will act as the big brother global moderator.

I have read over 100 blogs discussing the release of SideWiki and never in my life I saw a product from Google which gained so much hate against the Google brand in such a short time. SideWiki is not even a year old and you can already find websites like http://www.blocksidewiki.com/ and other bloggers discussing how to block it. 90% of bloggers are not happy with it and webmasters either. They dont like the idea that years of hard work can be destroyed by moving the conversation out of the website into Google servers, also SideWiki acts on the top, not in the website.

I can completely understand people that complain here. Its amazing how Google is still going on with it, not only is this a clone from other start ups like Reframe It but the US Government is already looking into a monopoly case against Google based on how they dont have an official corporate focus but prefer to expand their control over anything that works on the Internet thanks to the massive influence they have on users. Other people had similar services, but none of it was Google. The idea is kind of nice actually but it renders the idea of websites useless, not to mention blogs, forums and of course other sites like Twitter, Facebook and even Wikipedia. If Google wants everything what will they sell for ads? People that pay ads are because they run their own websites, will google act as a giant store and will they charge us for every bit we put online? As as I see it they are eating their own tale, less and less people are getting an online presence because they dont need one anymore.

SideWiki is very simple, it doesn't even have the features of other similar tools, but the danger and why people are so upset is because its Google and they know realized they actually helped Google become Google. It was us, the webmasters that created billions of webpages and content and we allowed Google bots to scan it for free. What would happen if in the early days when Google was still small, people had started to exclude google bots based on the idea that they eat your bandwidth. Google would never existed. SideWiki has created a terrible impression on site owners for Google and basically they dont have enough to own all the information from websites, now they want to control them.

I can only say if Google doesn't allow websites or owners to opt out, they will boycot the idea anyway. There are millions of ways they can do this. One of the first would be of course start promoting Firefox and IE instead of Chrome or even antivirus vendors could release an update to render this useless. What about Microsoft? What happens if they decide to render it useless? Would this be fair? Why not? If Google pulls this of based on their millions of Gmail users, toolbars and now in Chrome, so why could not then Microsoft decide they dont want to allow Google products to run in Windows? Think about it Google. You dont allow webmasters to opt out and you can do it because of the influence you have but guess what, Windows still has even more influence and they do allow Chrome to run on their OS, do you allow IE to run in Chrome OS or even Firefox? Who is actually evil?

If Google continues with this kind of products where they are the only ones that profit, (yes because Google is not an non profit organization, its an ad company) then people could even start to boycott Google and block their bots and what could happen? Users would just move to Bing or Yahoo as Google would start to lose relevance very fast if website owners start to block their bots.

This type of things can be the end of such a company, every empire had an end eventually and Google depends on users, not users on Google, Google doesn't produce anything, they just profit from the data of others and they need users.

Now dont get me wrong, I love Google products and im actually writing this from my favorite browser Chrome. Its just that products hurt exactly the people that made Google what they are. The only reason search engines worked, saving all the websites of other people into their own servers is because they send traffic to them. Otherwise companies would claim they steal their intellectual property by scanning their websites and servers. This are the people that Google reserves respect, the same people that know are posting more and more articles against Google brand and not just because of SideWiki but because of other products as well.

Im not sure who handles Google main marketing and brand strategy but they are doing a lousy job and its not even their fault. The fault is from the people that work in Google that have their minds blank and dont know what new and cool to invent. The only profit Google has is Ads, and they even rely on this for webmasters again. Other products failed because they where simple copycats of other peoples ideas. It wonders me the lack of vision Google has a company and even said 5 years ago that Google would integrate all their services into a single account, nobody believed me back them when you could use any email account for their services. Today if you dont have a Gmail account you cant. They did exactly what I predicted as Google is very predictable and when people claim they are trying to own the Internet and information they are not wrong. If Google is a search engine they should focus in search, of course they can release and evolve into new market, like everybody else can but they do this not inventing new cool stuff but just because they have a wide audience, inst this like they promoted Chrome? In the ads of millions of webmasters websites that had adsense in their websites, free advertising indeed. Google has the right to launch any services they like and want but the minute they abuse their power and try to force products, they can be accused of monopoly just like Google said Microsoft did with Explorer and as far as I see it they had the right to provide their OS with the browser they wanted. The accusation was the same, Microsoft had to much influence and abused their position, just like Google is doing now. This is not me that is speaking, its the Internet, just look around what people are saying about this new tool which kidnaps websites.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Nibb 4/18/10 9:35 AM
Steven Lockey, you are missing completely the point. Of course its the servers of Google and they decide what they want to host or not, people are not complaining about what Google hosts or does with their services, but how they do it.

You can answer this questions yourself. Who gave Google the right to scan our servers and websites? Nobody, we have to exclude it via a robots text file, its like Spammers when they send a message with an opt out link and they its not spam because you can remove yourself from the list.

So Google did not asked the millions of websites permission to build their databases and become the multi million dollar company.
Did also Google paid adsense owners when all those ads from Chrome started to land on websites? I guess not, they just used their own developed network.
Did not Google accused Microsoft of monopoly and unfair business tactics? Why?
As far as I know OS Chrome cannot run Firefox and Explorer but Windows can and if Microsoft is fair they would render Chrome useless in all their OS systems because they CAN as its their operating system. Once again its not fair play here, Google wants everybody to share, but they dont want to? How about the street views legal problems and the books. Google wants all the information to be free, for their own profit of course, but Google know says they have the right to put comments on the websites because they CAN and they will. Well this is a nice as it tells us allot about how they point others with the fingers but dont allow anyone to try to correct them. The point is that, yes its Google servers, but its not their data. The opinions are from users, and all the data, even emails on Gmail are not from Google but from the people that use it. Even when Google tried to enforce a TOS that said all this information belongs to them its just useless bits and bytes without the minds behind it. And those are the users. Google could never challenge the whole world and if every company and website starts to look this a threat they will start to work against Google not with it.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 4/18/10 12:10 PM
@Nibb

Well said.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 4/20/10 2:16 AM
>>Who gave Google the right to scan our servers and websites?

You did when you made it public..... Make it private and it won't get scanned..... Same as you gave users the same rights to. You can't put up a sign on the high-street and insist that certain people aren't allowed to read it either, regardless of what they may want to use that information for.

>>The point is that, yes its Google servers, but its not their data.

No its public data, IE available for their use.


>>Google depends on users, not users on Google

Yep on the searches not so much on the webmasters cos at the moment webmasters would be cutting off their own noses to spite their faces by blocking Google


>>As far as I know OS Chrome cannot run Firefox and Explorer but Windows can and if Microsoft is fair they would render Chrome useless in all their OS systems because they CAN as its their operating system.

Missing the fairly fundermental point here that Chrome was DESIGNED to run on windows. If there are versions of FF and  IE made for OS Chrome they will work as well. I'll remind you how many microsoft patches have stopped programs working? I'll remind you of hotmail blocking Chrome users? Or do you care to ignore these things when they contradict your arguement.

>> One of the first would be of course start promoting Firefox and IE instead of Chrome or even antivirus vendors could release an update to render this useless.

Errr no, there are addons for sidewiki on these browsers as well

>>I have read over 100 blogs discussing the release of SideWiki and never in my life I saw a product from Google which gained so much hate against the Google brand in such a short time.

Yes because as Grep-o proves there is a very vocal minority shouting about it.


>>because its Google and they know realized they actually helped Google become Google

LOL This is the funniest one. No webmaster 'helped' Google. They took what was already there on the web and made a better search engine. The only time people started 'helping' google find and crawl their site was when Googl was big enough that it was in their own self intrest for the site to be found easily on Google. The webmasters where helping themselves not Google. Google owes webmasters nothing I'm afraid.


>>Google has the right to launch any services they like and want but the minute they abuse their power and try to force products, they can be accused of monopoly just like Google said Microsoft did with Explorer

They could if they were forcing any users to use sidewiki... they aren't. Are they forcing you to use Google search? No?
If you aren't been forced to use it then there is no monopoly, IE like microsoft where users are basically forced to use Windows because there is no other OS that can run any realistic amounts of the required programs.


>>they have the right to put comments on the websites because they CAN and they will

Google puts the comments on it's own server


>>They dont like the idea that years of hard work can be destroyed by moving the conversation out of the website into Google servers

Can you give any examples of this happening? To legit companies?
I think people are making a massive mountain out of a molehill here....
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 4/20/10 12:45 PM
>>No its public data, IE available for their use.

A copyrighted website is no more "public" than a copyrighted book. One can write a review of a public book in their own book, but a bookstore can't modify the book or place additional information *in* it (on top of the content when you buy the book) without permission.

>> Yes because as Grep-o proves there is a very vocal minority shouting about it.

It's not necessarily a minority. 45% vs. 55% with a margin of error of a couple of percentage points is basically equal. This forum thread is not a scientific study though.  If you look at the screenshots of Google.com I posted above, there are a huge number of people searching for an answer to this problem.

>> No webmaster 'helped' Google.

Sorry, you don't understand how the Web or word-of-mouth works.  Search engines *need* webmaster support.  If you block your website from Bing with robots.txt, they will send the webmaster regular e-mails.  If a small group of influential technology webmasters/bloggers suddenly decided that they liked Bing and started spreading the word around, Bing would gain a larger market share.

There was a time when webmasters *did* block Google.  Google was obviously desperate in that situation and they stopped obeying robots.txt.  That's why the existence of pages blocked by robots.txt still show up in Google's SERPs.

If the bulk of webmasters decide they don't like Google, it will create fertile ground for alternatives to spring up. (Could be search, advertising, email, etc.)

>> I think people are making a massive mountain out of a molehill here....

It looks like you build and market sites for other people and therefore don't have the same perspective as a Web publisher.  A few sites blocking Sidewiki won't affect you either way.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 4/21/10 1:20 AM
>>A copyrighted website is no more "public" than a copyrighted book.
More like a billboard or poster to be honest. Books aren't put, with contents available for you to just go and read cover to cover (except libraries which are an exception). Modifcation only applies to the content not the program used to display them.


>>It's not necessarily a minority. 45% vs. 55% with a margin of error of a couple of percentage points is basically equal.
A very fair point. No arguements here, my only counter point was people who just don't care aren't likely to post here and probably to be honest make up the majority :)


>>Google was obviously desperate in that situation and they stopped obeying robots.txt.
Errr no idea if this is true or not, to honest I don't believe it. I very much doubt millions of webmasters all managed to get down together and arrange to block Google. Even so I was refering to when Google where starting up. They got where they where because their search engine was the best.


>>A few sites blocking Sidewiki won't affect you either way.
True but my point is your site having Sidewiki won't affect you hugely either if you take the few steps that where meantioned above. 99% of people will post on your site on sidewiki (and yes I just pulled that number from my arse).
Can you provide metrics from your sites to show that a large percentage (over 10%) of the posts are going from your site to side-wiki instead?



Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 4/21/10 11:49 AM
>>Errr no idea if this is true or not, to honest I don't believe it.

Many sites used to block Google, including eBay, the New York Times, the California DMV, etc. Historically, that is why Google shows the existence of pages blocked by robots.txt:
http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Atwitter.com+%22max_id%22&num=100&filter=0

>>my only counter point was people who just don't care aren't likely to post here and probably to be honest make up the majority

Most people don't know anything about the issue.

>>Can you provide metrics from your sites to show that a large percentage (over 10%) of the posts are going from your site to side-wiki instead?

Sidewiki hasn't been widely adopted yet. I've shown several examples of early adopters using Sidewiki to comment on individual blog posts instead of registering and commenting on the website. As Sidewiki becomes adopted by regular users, the practice will become widespread.  Webmasters will lose content and users.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 4/22/10 1:34 AM
You are assuming
1: It will be adopted by regular users
2: They will want to comment there instead of on the site itself
3: That they will use it for the same purpose as they do the on-page comments.

If all these assumptions are correct then yes there may be a problem with it.
So far you have shown no evidence of this been the case.


Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 4/22/10 10:30 AM
I've already given evidence :)

Examples of Sidewiki being used to comment instead of registering for an account and commenting on the sites:
http://www.buzzmachine.com/2009/09/23/google-sidewiki-danger/
http://searchengineland.com/google-sidewiki-allows-anyone-to-comment-about-any-site-26420
http://searchenginewatch.com/3635252

Whether it has been adopted by regular users yet is irrelevant to my argument. Sidewiki is designed to rob users and content (whether intentionally or naively -- I *suspect* a combination of both, depending on the person).

I've explained how Google could push Sidewiki on a large number of users through Chrome Browser and the upcoming Chrome OS. Webmasters don't need to wait for that to happen to complain. If Sidewiki does become adopted there will be a larger webmaster backlash as people realize what Google is doing.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 4/23/10 1:33 AM
Examples are not evidence....

I can give examples of pedofiles and mass-murderers, that doesn't mean they are the majority.

Is the entirity of your agruement that you need an opt out because Google MIGHT do something. Its a bit of a logical circle there, if they are going to do that then they aren't going to let you opt out are they?

Google have made sidewiki fairly discrete, its not something that comes up and slamms you in the face when you go to someone's website. I can understand where you are coming from and can believe you might see a 10% drop in registrations/comments but I'd be very surprised if it was any worse than that unless you really make your users jump through hoops to register.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 4/23/10 4:21 PM
"Evidence" means examples, documentation, facts used to support a claim.  That is what I've provided: early adopters using Sidewiki for exactly what I'm saying regular users are going to use it for as it becomes adopted by regular users.

Your example of mass murderers is not analogous.

I'm not saying Google "might" do something.  They are already doing it.  It's just in the early stages.

*Google* didn't make Sidewiki discreet -- it's just another Google product that hasn't caught on yet.  There's a chance that it will fail to live up to expectations like so many other Google products (Wave, Base, etc.).  Creating bad relations with webmasters increases the chance that their products will fail.

It's not just Sidewiki that people want to avoid:
http://bit.ly/a3vSCx

>>...you might see a 10% drop in registrations/comments...
.
10% is quite a random number to pull out of your hat -- it will be more than that if Sidewiki becomes widely adopted.  Even if only 10%, Google has fragmented the discussions on someone's website into two streams.  When Google lets me steal 10% of their users, then I will accept your argument.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 4/26/10 1:24 AM
>When Google lets me steal 10% of their users, then I will accept your argument.

Are more than 10% of your visitors from Google? Then aren't you stealing them away from Google whenever they click on your site in the search results if you are going to classify it like that.

>>"Evidence" means examples, documentation, facts used to support a claim."Evidence" means examples, documentation, facts used to support a claim.

And single examples prove nothing and support nothing.

>>*Google* didn't make Sidewiki discreet
Really? Consider that it could open automatically everytime you visit a new page or do it as an overlay on your site or pop up a huge button saying 'read other user's comments about this site'
It could be far more abusive against webmasters


>> I'm not saying Google "might" do something.  They are already doing it.  It's just in the early stages.

Then provide metrics backing up what you are saying. Lets see metrics of what % of comment and registrations have dropped and gone onto side wiki....
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 4/26/10 2:25 AM
>> Then aren't you stealing them away from Google whenever they click on your site in the search results

Not at all. I'm not hijacking Google's user registrations in any way and am not overlaying Google.com with other content.

>> Lets see metrics of what % of comment and registrations have dropped and gone onto side wiki....

You are doing everything you can to extend the argument even if there are no more points left to make :)
I've already answered that.

To repeat:
"Sidewiki hasn't been widely adopted yet. I've shown several examples of early adopters using Sidewiki to comment on individual blog posts instead of registering and commenting on the website. As Sidewiki becomes adopted by regular users, the practice will become widespread.  Webmasters will lose content and users."

You have agreed that Sidewiki has the potential to steal registrations/comments:

>> "I can understand where you are coming from and can believe you might see a 10% drop in registrations/comments..."

If Sidewiki becomes widely adopted it will be more than 10%. But even 10% is a lot. Would you like to lose 10% of your income? (Obviously not.)
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 4/26/10 3:23 AM
>>If Sidewiki becomes widely adopted it will be more than 10%

Any evidence of this? No? Thought not. Single examples are NOT proof of a widescale trend like you are claiming.



>>But even 10% is a lot. Would you like to lose 10% of your income? (Obviously not.)

And you directly make money from registrations/comments? I don't think so, you make money from advertising based on the popularity of the sites, assuming all sites will be affected fairly equally then all site's comments/registrations will decrease equally meaning no decreate in advertising payments since ALL sites have reduced their user interaction by the same amount. Also who is to say that advertisers won't take sidewiki comments into account?


Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Mangat 4/26/10 4:14 AM
I'm also interested  know about SIDIWIKI.

how to choose what content is helpful for good ranking
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 4/26/10 9:59 AM
>> Single examples are NOT proof of a widescale trend like you are claiming.

You're still totally missing the point. I'm not claiming a widescale trend already exists. :)

>> And you directly make money from registrations/comments?

Like I said, you don't seem to understand how Web publishing works beyond simply adding a few ads.

Yes, you make money directly from registration and comments because it directly affects the sale value of a website.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 4/27/10 1:23 AM
Now its definatly you who is failing to comprehend.

If there is a widescale change that affects registrations and reduces them by 10%, then sites will sell for as if they had 10% more registrations....

Now, if you are saying it will affect individual sites and won't be a widescale thing then I those sites need to look at why people aren't registering with their site, is the registration difficult/long winded? Does it ask for too many personal details? Does it take too long? Do people think the site owner is trustworthy?


Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 4/27/10 1:49 AM
>> If there is a widescale change that affects registrations and reduces them by 10%, then sites will sell for as if they had 10% more registrations....

No. They will become more worthless.  Tripadvisor without comments/reviews doesn't become more valuable because other sites have lost comments/reviews too.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 4/27/10 4:05 AM
Of course it does.... The top end sites and bottom end sites are going to be paid the same amounts.

The number is registrations if relative to other sites, if the other site's numbers decrease then the amount you need to hit the same 'threshhold' is also decreased.

If all the comments/registrations go then thats a different matter however you've shown NO reason to think sidewiki would do this and the possibility of it happening without a major problem on that individual site are fairly damm close to zero.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 4/27/10 10:32 AM
>> The top end sites and bottom end sites are going to be paid the same amounts.

It doesn't work that way :)

Take a large site that sells for $8 per registered user.  If every site loses 40% of its user registrations (just an example number), that doesn't make all the websites increase in per user value.  It just drops the price of websites in general.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 4/27/10 10:34 AM
Edit:
... it drops the value of websites in general.  It increases the value of Google (through UGC) directly at website owners' expense.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 4/28/10 1:26 AM
>>Take a large site that sells for $8 per registered user

There can't be more than a few buys who acctually use such a retarded metric for valuing a website....
And if all websites have less registrations than the price per users will go up after a while since every website is getting less registrations.

Same as everything else, if there is less of it about the price goes up.
You've also still not shown any evidence of vastly decreasing registered users or user comments.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 4/28/10 1:50 AM
>> There can't be more than a few buys who acctually use such a retarded metric for valuing a website....

Not exactly, but the number of users and the amount of UGC make a big difference.  Hijacking user registrations reduces the amount of UGC too.

>> And if all websites have less registrations than the price per users will go up after a while since every website is getting less registrations.

That's not how it works, but it really makes no difference if you agree.


I just hope there is someone at Google reading this who has a conscience and still believes believes the "don't be evil" motto.  If Sidewiki becomes widely adopted, the result is going to be webmasters forcibly coerced to integrate their websites with Google to avoid having their UGC split into two streams. I'm talking about forcing a Disqus-like commenting system on websites by putting it there without asking first so that users bypass the website's own commenting system to use your Disqus-like commenting system (e.g., Sidewiki API).  Webmasters are going to lose control of their own UGC and user registrations.  That is plainly sinister.

Mmonopolies are bad.  You have something like 70% of Search and now you're making a power grab for the bulk of content too (comments, reviews, registrations, etc.).  The Web is supposed to be a decentralized system of information -- not a system of information exclusively built on Google.com.  Websites need to control their own UGC.

Keep the content on Google.com and don't overlay content on *top* of other websites without permission.  That is where you are crossing the line of right and wrong.  All webmasters are asking for is a way to opt out.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 4/28/10 2:49 AM
>>I just hope there is someone at Google reading this who has a conscience and still believes believes the "don't be evil" motto.

Of course a lot of people would regard letting webmasters opt out as equally evil..... Of course you aren't open to any view other than your own been right.


Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? SQueaL 5/11/10 3:37 AM
Some very funny Sidewiki ranting here:

Nibb: I have read over 100 blogs discussing the release of SideWiki and never in my life I saw a product from Google which gained so much hate against the Google brand in such a short time.

Maybe that's because you're reading anti-SW blogs! Those of us who like Sidewiki, are just getting on with using it. And I suspect there's more than 100 of us!

Nibb: The idea is kind of nice actually but it renders the idea of websites useless, not to mention blogs, forums and of course other sites like Twitter, Facebook and even Wikipedia.

Are you sure you're not exaggerating just a *tiny* bit, there?

Nibb: What would happen if in the early days when Google was still small, people had started to exclude google bots based on the idea that they eat your bandwidth

Have you only started using the internet since Google existed? There were other big search engines before Google. Google doesn't eat any more of your bandwidth than any other visitor. Or don't you like site visitors?

Nibb: basically they dont have enough to own all the information from websites, now they want to control them.

So now you don't know how to use robot.txt? How does Google 'own' all the information from your site?

Nibb: One of the first would be of course start promoting Firefox and IE instead of Chrome or even antivirus vendors could release an update to render this useless.

You really don't know what the hell you are talking about. Google toolbar works on all these browsers. And Opera. You could try Safari, but people are clamoring for Google Toolbar for that too:
http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Toolbar/thread?tid=052fea651f7cd6bc&hl=en

And why should antivirus vendors help you, while at the same time interfering with a feature that the user wants?

Nibb: This is not me that is speaking, its the Internet, just look around what people are saying about this new tool which kidnaps websites.

Very amusing! The whole internet agrees with you? If Google have kidnapped your website, you'd better call the cops pronto.

Ha ha... you said that 'people should search with Yahoo instead of Google'  :o
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? jqb 7/23/10 2:20 AM
The concept of webmasters opting out, and controlling how their sites are viewed, is fundamentally wrong and contrary to the original design and intent of the web. It's my browser, running on my computer, and I have the right to view your website however I want -- with Greasemonkey or custom stylesheets or overlays like Google Sidewiki or Webnotes or whatever -- that's *my* content, not yours, and you have no say over it.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? jqb 7/23/10 2:44 AM
"Saying "comments are not on your site" is weak."

No, it's essential.

"They appear in the browser along with your site."

That's right, they appear in *my* browser, along with your content. What, you think you own my screen real estate just because something of yours appears on my screen? I can have whatever I want up on the screen next to your content -- especially comments from other web users mentioning your attempts to hijack their control of their own screens.

"Doesn't matter that they're not actually in the html code of the site itself."

Of course it matters that the comments in SW *don't belong to you* and so you have no right to control them.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? gdwilson 7/23/10 12:33 PM
jqb: Your thoughts are flawed.

>> is fundamentally wrong and contrary to the original design and intent of the web. <<

Google itself is contrary to the original design. Along with any site that sells or advertises anything.c

The web, like society, is always changing.

>> It's my browser, running on my computer, and I have the right to view your website however I want <<

Don't confuse right with privilege.

It's *my* site. *I* pay for the hosting, bandwidth, graphics, content and everything else. If I want to put all my content in a custom java/flash application, that would be *my* right.

If I want to block a specific browser, browsers with specific plugins, certain OSes or anything else - once again, *my right.*

It's your right to accept terms layed out for my site or not.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 7/23/10 1:52 PM
@jqb
Google Sidewiki is contrary to the original design and intent of the Web. It's not an open, decentralized system. It's controlled by a single, multinational corporation that answers to The Bottom Line before anything else.

Google is making sinister moves to control everything on the Web -- comments, email, advertising, users, etc. It's not good.


>>> It's your right to accept terms layed out for my site or not.

Well said.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 7/23/10 2:39 PM
@Agent99

I agree... except that I would say that it *is* "evil" under Google's implied definition of evil.

It's difficult to talk about "illegal" in regards to right-and-wrong in technology. The law will never catch up completely. :)

You can't currently disable Sidewiki because there are 3rd party tools that can load it, such as a Firefox extension. I don't think the Sidewiki Destroyer scripts based on appending random URL fragments (#) work anymore.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 7/26/10 8:46 AM
@gdwilson -

You are both right, you have the right to put any code on your website you like including the code to block browsers e.t.c.
The user has the right to have whatever plugins he likes on HIS browser, including sidewiki, stylesheets that modify the appearance of your site e.t.c.

Saying the user doesn't have the right to do this is like saying no-one is allowed to look at your bill-board while wearing coloured glasses...... You have the right to control your website and your server, the user has the right to control his browser, this INCLUDES sidewiki regardless of if you like that or not.


>>It's your right to accept terms layed out for my site or not.
If I go to your site is there a list of terms and conditions there BEFORE i enter the site with a 'I accept' button I have to click before going to the site? If not then you are talking non-sence I'm afraid. Also as public sections of websites are considered public areas then even if you had this then I still have the might to manipulate your website as I feel fit in my browser.

You might not like this but both morally and legally you are wrong.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? gdwilson 7/26/10 12:44 PM
@Steven:

>>  as public sections of websites are considered public areas then even if you had this then I still have the might to manipulate your website as I feel fit in my browser. <<

I dont think a court has ever ruled on this either way. Would love to see the case law if it has.

HTML is copyrighted and protected as machine code under the DMCA. Specifically if I place security scripts inside the code and you use plugins to remove it. Security could be no right click, disallowing certain browsers, plugins, etc.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? Steven Lockey 7/27/10 2:08 AM
>>HTML is copyrighted and protected as machine code under the DMCA. Specifically if I place security scripts inside the code and you use plugins to remove it. Security could be no right click, disallowing certain browsers, plugins, etc.

Yes and they aren't changing your code, they are simply changing the way it is displayed in their browser.
If you don't want people to view your page then feel free to block it.

If you haven't protected the contents of your website however it IS considered a public area, hence why its not a crime to gain access to them where it IS illegal to gain unauthorised access to protected or private areas of a website. There have been court cases about this, particually in the early days of the web althrough its rare in the last few years due to it basically been assumed now.

So....
Your copyrights are NOT been affected
Your website is been used in a legal manner
You have no legal or morale rights to tell a user what they can or can't install on their browser.

Trying to tell a user 'you can't do this in your browser' is like a user telling you that you must place links to their website on your site, its non-sence.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? smjg 9/1/10 5:09 PM
As I see it, it is a good thing that webmasters cannot opt out of Sidewiki, as long as there is a facility for reporting abusive comments.

Why would respectable webmasters want to prevent users from sharing innocent, constructive comments on the content they provide?  I often find myself using Sidewiki to post corrections to wrong information found on websites.  As such, I can see someone wanting to keep Sidewiki off their site being someone with an agenda to spread lies.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 9/5/10 5:30 AM
@smjg
There is no effective facility for reporting problems to Google.  Google is a huge company that doesn't have time to deal with small requests.

Google Maps is one example.  There are serious problems with errors in Google maps, especially in the travel industry.  Many businesses have been complaining about specific incidents for a long time and the problems still aren't resolved.  Travelers using Google maps are getting lost in foreign cities and even going to the wrong businesses. Google doesn't do anything about it even after repeated requests.

Another example is when you get your Google profile blocked -- which can happen to anyone through the automated system. Good luck getting it reactivated in a timely manner.

If you want to correct wrong information on websites, click the "contact" link in the website's menu, don't post it as graffiti on top of the website where the webmaster has no control over it.  That's just obnoxious. Webmasters aren't going to appreciate it, and most people won't even see it.  You should bring up errors on websites privately or by posting them in a comment that the webmaster can delete after they fix it.
Re: How do webmasters opt out of sidewiki? grep--o 9/5/10 5:35 AM
Here are some examples of people who can't get their problems resolved by contacting Google:
http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/gmail/thread?hl=en&tid=08b2049f9f87aacd

You think Google is going to have time to deal with vandalism, spam, and graffiti on Sidewiki?  They won't.
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