Thursday, October 15, 2009

The impact of Google Sidewiki on brands

I’ve been using Google’s Sidewiki in the last week or so and have even used it to post to my blog, suffice to say I’ve found it useful for tracking my own comments about a site, as well as found it very interesting to read the comments of others.

Most notable of these is the outcry about Seth Godin’s ‘Brands in Public’.
http://www.squidoo.com/brandsinpublic/
A service created for brands to see what is being said about them online in one place by aggregating content from the usual social media suspects across the web, such as: Twitter, blogs, feeds, Twitter, etc. However others have openly criticised this service as Brandjacking and where have these comments and criticism been posted? Well… on the Google Side Wiki attached to the site of course.

Now let’s get one thing clear… I view transparency and openness as key brand attributes, and there can be nothing more open than allowing criticism against your brand on your own website. That is of course until your CEO understands that now anyone can say what they like and others can read it (with the Google SideWiki Toolbar feature enabled)

Note:
Yes, there are ways to complain about certain content and Google has (surprisingly) been very clear about the process… although I have yet to hear personally of an appeal being successful.

You can try and explain to your CEO that you’ve never really had control of what people say about your brand. You can highlight that thanks to social media customers and potential customers are able to discuss, share and complain about your products & services (or just your company as a whole). You can point them to examples where companies have made the situation worse by either ignoring the comments or by trying to get them removed.

However you may find it’s a case of NIMBY (not in my back yard) or my accurately “Not on my homepage”

in reference to: What Google's Sidewiki Means to Marketers - ClickZ (view on Google Sidewiki)
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