SideWiki Beyond Thunderdome – An Exageration?

By Tad Miller | Sep 28, 2009
More Articles by Tad

Janet’s Post recent post on the new Google SideWikiWhy I Lose More Sleep from My Teething Baby Than I Ever Will Over Google’s SideWiki“, emphasized the hurdles to acceptance of SideWiki use becoming prevalent and that it really isn’t something to worry about in the immediate future for site owners.  Essentially – remain calm but be aware of it.  I for the most part agree, but honestly what’s the fun in thatLet’s focus on the worst case scenarios for this thing and monger a little fear about how terrible this thing could really be!

Imagine the possibilities for ugliness that this could foster.  The Internet is already full of venom and anger – but that has manifested itself in tweets, forums and blogs.  Now with SideWiki you can bring all of that anger and ugliness right to the website of your nemesis.  Essentially forming an online picket line at the virtual door step of what you hate (at least if you have the Google Toolbar with SideWiki).

The first area I think the SideWiki is destined to rear it’s ugly head is on Political Websites.  Years ago in the ages of Google Bombing, bloggers organized to make any search on the words “miserable failure” to show the Biography page of George W. Bush.  Prior to that, John Kerry’s Presidential Campaign website was number one on Google for the word “Waffles”.  These kind of tricks are childish and primitive compared to what SideWiki can do.  What’s to stop Barrack Obama’s next election opponent to do a SideWiki entry attacking his political record, soon followed by a request to all of the supporters of that candidate to “Vote Up” those comments.

For that matter, I can easily see a “Glenn Beck” organize similar “Tea Party” like online protests using SideWiki comments on the websites of anyone he might have a problem with.  Again, he could organize huge numbers of followers to vote and keep those comments very visible (if you have the toolbar).  For the record I predict Stephen Colbert will be the first to do this really well and I can’t wait to see how funny it will be.

Businesses that run afoul of really anyone with the power to organize a protest, will forever have negative comments associated by “flash-mob” like protesting.  Again it’s the equivalent of having a crowd of people picket outside the business door in the physical world.

Junior High girls will be taking their Facebook pages down, because hurtful SideWiki comments from another group of girls…more than likely using nice words like SKANK that will be associated with that page Forever! (Whose to say they won’t still be there years later…)

Blogger’s won’t even bother to have comments enabled on their Blogs, because people will just SideWiki them – Without any moderation.  OK this one isn’t as scary but it’s a point worth thinking about.

What’s to stop Google from showing SideWiki activity in search results for the specific web pages they are associated with.  This would mean you wouldn’t even need the new Google Toolbar to see them. SideWiki does give page owners the power to have the first SideWiki result and to defend themselves in the comments.

But let’s be honest here, the potential for Internet Troll Rule is massive with this thing. Will introduction of Side-Wiki bring for some post-apocalyptic age of cyber uncivility to the online world?

I don’t know, but now that I’ve given all the Trolls the road map on how to do it…Who knows?

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