Update: Google Sidewiki has been discontinued. The Firefox add-on is of no use anymore.
Google introduced a new service called Google Sidewiki some time ago which gives Google account owners the opportunity to share their views and opinions about a website, service or page with the rest of the world.
Google Sidewiki was integrated into the Google Toolbar by the company from where it could be opened and used.
An unofficial bookmarklet appeared on the web soon thereafter allowing users without the Google Toolbar to view the comments left by other users. Still, only Google Toolbar users were allowed to leave comments about a website.
The Firefox add-on Google Sidewiki Client adds the full Google Sidewiki functionality to the Firefox web browser. Google Sidewiki information are added to a new sidebar which can be displayed by pressing the Sidewiki button in the status bar.
Users of the add-on can read reviews and notes that have been posted by Google users about the website they are on. A little bit unfortunate is that the information is not refreshing automatically.
The information is only refreshed if the button in the status bar is pressed again. This needs to be done for example when switching tabs or loading new links in the active tab that lead to other pages or websites.
Users who are logged into their Google account can submit their own reviews of the website, express their opinion about other reviews by voting for or against them, share reviews or report abusive reviews. It is basically the complete Google Sidewiki client in the Firefox sidebar.
The add-on is in an early stage which becomes apparent in two key areas. The first is the already mentioned auto-refresh that is missing. This makes the add-on cumbersome to use. The second is the missing controls in the sidebar. It is not possible to go back or forth and the login screen breaks the layout of the sidebar.
Interested users can download the Firefox add-on from the Mozilla website where it is available for all Firefox 3.x versions.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.