Thursday, October 22, 2009

View From the Phlipside

These are the scripts from my weekly media commentary program on WRFA-LP Jamestown

My name is Jay Phillippi and I've spent my life in and around the media. TV, Radio, the movies and more. I love 'em and I hate em' and I always have an opinion. Call this the view from the Phlipside

The folks over at Google have lots of things going on right. Of course that seem to be par for the course for them, there is ALWAYS something going on. Some new whiz bang toy being thought up or some great new concept. In fact some folks are even saying Google is the new way of checking on the health of the economy. Used to be hemlines or which conference won the Super Bowl.Now apparently we just watch Google. In case you're wondering the Google gauge is indicating some good news right now for the economy.

On another front however the news is perhaps a little darker. One of the things that defenders of the internet have always said is that it's all upfront. Sometimes even a bit too upfront. Until now. Thanks to Google. The folks at the big G have come up with a new little wonder toy that allows you to effectively do a drive by shooting (metaphorically) of sites on the web. And the owner of the site will never even know, unless they know about this fun little toy. It's a toolbar called Sidewiki.

Here's the deal - sidewiki can be used to leave comments on virtually any website in the world that can only be seen by other folks who use sidewiki. This means you can cruise over to your least favorite politician, a local pizza joint that ticked you off or pretty much any place else and say just about anything you want. Your fellow sidewikians (I think I just made that word up) can vote you up or down but that comment is there. That means that the negative effects of your words linger and the person or business may have no idea that they have a problem. Worse yet even if they do use sidewiki and can see your comments now they have a whole new frontier they have to spend time and money defending. I saw one article that compared it to spraying graffiti on someone's front door. There's nothing you can do to stop it and you're going to spend time and money cleaning up the problem.

Google maintains that they never meant the toolbar to be used this way but that's often the way it goes in the wild frontier mentality of the world wide web. Like so much of the web great new ideas have a way of being turned to the dark side all too easily. If Google wants to stay the bell weather of the economic world they better figure out a way to not help internet vandals create drive by problems for the neighborhood.

Call that the view from the Phlipside

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