Update: Google Sidewiki is no longer available. This means that Page Owner Entries are also no longer available.
We have not seen any usage stats for Google's recently introduced service Google Sidewiki which allows Google Toolbar users to leave comments about any webpage they visit.
The comments are displayed in a sidebar for everyone to see, at least if the Google Toolbar is installed, or if one of the workarounds is used. One option is to install the Google Sidewiki Firefox Add-on which displays the comments even if the Google Toolbar is not installed.
There are also userscripts, like the aptly named Sidewiki, which can be installed in web browsers that support userscripts to display the comments that other users have left using the service.
The page owner, or webmaster, can leave comments about any page as well, but they are not handled differently from all other comments. This means that it could very well be that the webmaster's comments slip down so that it could not be seen on the first page.
Google made up its mind and decided to provide webmasters with access to a special section on Google Sidewiki called page owner entries.
Webmasters who have added their websites to Google Webmaster Tools can now add page owner entries on Google Sidewiki that appear above every other comment that is being left on the website.
The service to add page owner entries to Sidewiki is located in the Labs section of the Google Webmaster Tools site.
Webmasters can write text and spice it up with a few HTML tags that are allowed like breaks, text formatting and even links. Webmasters can also use a generic text instead if they prefer that. It takes a while before the entry is shown in the Sidewiki comments but it can be used to inform visitors about the websites from the webmaster's point of view before they start reading user comments.
Now, if only there was an option to reply to comments left by users.
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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.