Google shuts off Sidewiki – will anyone notice?

Google SidewikiTwo months after its new social network Google Plus was unveiled Google has decided to close Sidewiki in order to focus on its “broader social initiatives”.

Sidewiki, which allowed users to post comments to any website, must have increasingly seemed like an unnecessary distraction to the company as Google Plus squares up to Facebook.

“Some bets pay off and others don’t”, was how Google’s Senior Vice President Alan Eustace put it in a blog post announcing the demise of Sidewiki and a number of other minor services.

Nevertheless, Sidewiki was briefly a big deal for pharma, the highly-regulated industry I cover, and it caused at least one over enthusiastic pharma commentator to declare it a “game changer” at launch two years ago.

Unfortunately Sidewiki proved to be a solution in search of a problem – much like Google Wave.

Moreover, the web is hardly short on commenting tools these days, and Eustace’s blog post acknowledged the “extraordinary innovation” made over the past few years in “making the web collaborative”.

So far that blog post has just one Sidewiki entry – “Aww, goodbye Sidewiki…” – which, bearing in mind I had to switch browsers to Firefox to even see it, just about sums up Sidewiki’s lack of value.

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  1. Google Sidewiki is closing | In the Googleplex

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