Google has just launched it’s new product Sidewiki as part of the Google toolbar. With Sidewiki people can leave their comments on any website, page or part of the site’s content.
It has to be seen how popular the product will be, since one has to be using the Google toolbar and logged into their account in order to comment. However, it is certainly going to have an impact on hotel and tourism online marketing strategies.
Negative comments won’t be tucked away on community and special interest sites like Tripadvisor anymore but can be found alongside your brand or individual hotel website, exactly in the very spot where you are trying very hard to convert a website visitor into a booker. Sidewiki could also be open to abuse by competitors, of course.
Sounds like Sidewiki could become quite a curse for hotel and tourism marketers. But why not see it as a chance as well? After all, if your product convinces and people leave positive comments, this may just tip an undecided visitor over and make them book.
Like most things in life this innovation has advantages and disadvantages and you can see the glass as being half full or half empty. I think, Google Sidewiki is just another step towards the truly transparent and collaborative web. Use it wisely!
More information and download Google Sidewiki.