Google is rolling out a new service on Wednesday that will allow users to post notes alongside Web sites that can be read by other users. The service, called Sidewiki, will be a new feature of the Google Toolbar, a popular browser add-on.
The idea of a service to annotate Web sites has been around for a decade. Back in the Web 1.0 days, a start-up called Third Voice allowed people to post unmoderated comments on sites. After receiving some initial buzz in 1999, the company changed its model a year later and eventually shut down its service altogether in 2001. Some Web site operators complained that the comments were nothing more than Web graffiti.