Google Sidewiki vs Brands In Public

It’s been an interesting week.

First Seth Godin decides to back an idea that aggregates buzz around brands and creates a separate page for each brand curating this freely accessible  content that can be found anywhere on the web – Brands In Public. As an individual heading up an independent company called Squidoo Seth gets pilloried by the masses and accused of holding brands hostage – the ethos being that brands buy this space from him and use it as a central ‘buzz monitoring’ source for monitoring and interaction. He apologises and changes the offering to opt in.

Then Google announce Google Sidewiki – a central source for sentiment for any website that brands are well advised to ‘own’ so that they can monitor and interact.

Google Sidewiki

Google Sidewiki

Now I know what Google are offering is slightly different, and from a knowledge management point of view I love the spirit behind the wiki platform, but it wasn’t until I read this article on Vizion Interactive that I realised the ownership side of things makes Google’s Sidewiki offering very similar to Seth Godin’s Brands In Public.

You may disagree with me, but I think the timings draw inevitable similarities between the two approaches, the difference of course being that no amount of aversion in the echo chamber is likely to phase Google. Sidewiki could end up going the same way as Google Knol, but it could also become a tool that is a game changer for brands.

What do you think?

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