posted Oct 21, 2000

Where Did They Go: Third Voice Website Annotation10/21/2000; 11:50:09 AM Fortune is running a Where Did They Go? piece on Third Voice.'Last year, a Silicon Valley company called Third Voice made a sudden and very loud splash in the technology press with an application that let Web surfers annotate Web pages with "sticky notes." Third Voice (the name of the application as well as the company) was supposed to turn static Web pages into interactive forums. Disagree with something you read on the Web? By using Third Voice, you could post your opinion to the site on a virtual Post-It that other Third Voice users could see and respond to. Have an opinion about a presidential candidate, a new handheld computer or an art exhibit? Just write a note and start a discussion....''Detractors called it graffiti--some Website creators didn't want their pages overwhelmed by yellow notes.'Actually, as one of the larger (louder?) detractors, "graffiti" is one of the nicer words I had for Third Voice.Anyhow, the ruckus and noise didn't hurt them one bit; as the article alludes to, after they "monetized" the service by jamming shopping links into every web page you visit, nobody cared to use the product anymore. In hindsight, I think the service was doomed anyhow; the initial rush looked large, but it petered out after a few thousand users (only a handful of which ever actually posted anything). On the grand scale of things, that's nothing.Third Voice was slick, and there's even slicker stuff out there, but none of it is succeeding, even with huge free marketing boosts from the tech press. I think Website Annotation has been proven to be a dead technology. Nobody cares enough. There are probably more weblogs already then Third Voice users, and I think that the weblogs are more promising anyhow on all counts. The weblog craze may be over, but they're really just beginning to get going.(See Weblog Communities.)


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