SideWiki About To Take Center-Stage

Remember Google’s Sidewiki project – The Google toolbar extension that let users to collaboratively provide reviews, ratings and further discussion on existing webpages? Well, if rumors are true, the Sidewiki project could soon be taking center stage on your webpages and not just be relegated to a side of the browser.

A patent filed by Google back in mid-2008 and published recently shows Google’s plans to make Sidewiki something similar to Youtube’s annotations.

According to this, Google has been working on a technology that will help users make annotations, highlight parts of the webpage and load these annotations every time they visit the page.

Google explains the technology thus

Among other things, a computer-implemented method for annotating webpage content includes accessing a webpage in a browser, the webpage under control of a third party. A collection of annotations stored at a storage location is retrieved, the annotations collection associated with the webpage and an annotations author. The webpage is displayed with the retrieved annotations collection overlaid on the accessed webpage.

For now, it is still not clear if this patent seeks to extend the functionlity of Sidewiki or the more forgotten Google Notebook. Google Notebook, as you might remember is a personal note-taking tool which let users copy, paste text from different sources on to a single place. Sidewiki is just a social extension of Notebook and going by the patent description above, this looks like taking Sidewiki a step further rather than Notebook.

The idea does look cool, though it can make things a bit spammy. I have personally not been a fan of Youtube annotations, and if this were to be something similar, I don’t think I would ever choose to see this.