Google is not always the first to market with some of its products, in fact it usually isn't, but it's getting good at mastering the products and services it goes after. Sidewiki is the next product that Google hopes to turn to gold. By allowing web visitors to contribute to any webpage, Sidewiki pushes the envelope of the social web. It isn't a new concept, plugins have been around for years that do the exact same thing (Wikalong, for example), the difference is that this one is backed by Google.
What does this mean for users? Well, how many times have you found the answers to your questions about a topic in the comments of blog posts, instead of the posts themselves? Many authors are disconnected from their audience, but comments give the visitors a chance to have conversations that dig down to the answers. Sidewiki brings these conversations out of the blogosphere onto the entire web. Sidewiki is going to be a great opportunity to leave your footprint on all the interesting websites you visit.
What does this mean for your business? For one, its another outpost you need to be aware of. An outpost, as defined by Chris Brogan, refers to those social sites you might consider maintaining a presence with. People are going to have the ability to comment on your website -- they'll post questions, say positive things, and negative things. It's important to be aware of this, and more important to play an active role in the conversation. Contribute positive insight on other industry websites and people will begin to pay attention to you, follow you back to your profile on Google and eventually to your home base such as your corporate website or blog. This personal branding can pay off for your business as well by drawing attention to both you, and your company.
That’s right, Google does a great job at consistently building links with clever, unique, and fun link building tactics. Sure, it’s a lot easier when you publish a single blog post to 501,000 subscribers, but Google remains hungry when it comes to dominating its own search results (and others) for its products and services using well thought out SEO campaigns that attract a lot of links.
A while back I hacked together a script to scrape Reddit users in order to see what the top submitters were doing. I took three top Reddit submitters: maxwellhill, qgyh2, and MndVirus and started compiling data from my scraper. Some of the things I looked at were:
- root domain
- time of day
I was expecting to find more commonalities than I did, which is why I am publishing this post, but some of the common denominators of their submissions are:
Ask any web developer, designer, or web application programmer what they like least about web design, and 9 times out of 10 the answer will be browser compatibility issues, and more specifically, bad browsers. As a web developer, designer, online marketer, and overall web enthusiast, I am always excited to see great browsers gain market share. Today in particular, I noticed that Firefox became the number one web browser of choice for users on w3schools.com, with 46% of the total visitors in January.
Besides the overall elation of seeing Firefox succeed due its superior product features, there is a bigger picture here: compatibility. Every website has a different user base and demographic, and as a site owner, you should be monitoring what browsers your visitors are using to view your site. It's easy to overlook outdated web browsers such as IE6, but a good portion of the users that visit your site may experience problems or have formatting issues if you are not fully cross-browser compliant. It's good to see that people are switching over to improved browsers, but we still have a long way to go. Click here to get Firefox.