Stickis is a new service that lets you attach little sticky-type notes to Web pages you visit and lets you view the notes other people have left on pages.
There was a service like this during the last Internet bubble. The product, ThirdVoice, was criticized as allowing "graffiti" on Web pages, since anyone's markups would be visible to any other ThirdVoice user. Stickis is different. The idea with this service is that you intentionally subscribe to various commentators (such as bloggers), then when you visit a site that one of these writers has a note on, it pops up on your screen. You can respond to their note with one of your own.
Bloggers can also add their feeds to Stickis, so every post they write automatically becomes a note linked to whatever sites they are linking to. Actually, anybody can do this for any blog. For instance, if there's an obscure political blogger you like, and you want to know when he writes about the stories you read on CNN, you can add his feed to your subscription list, and whenever he links to a story you're reading on CNN or any other site, you'll see a little alert pop up on the story page so that you can jump over to his blog and read the post.
I tried this with Webware.com (of course). It was simply a matter of giving Stickis the URL. Then when I went to sites I'd recently covered, such as WhoToTalkTo and LicketyShip, I got a note pointing me back to my posts. Pretty slick.
There are some user interface issues the site has to work through. For example, it's unclear how publishers will get the word out that they are writing Stickis content. In the beta I saw, I was automatically subscribed to several channels of content (all of them, I believe), and it was up to me to unsubscribe from the ones I didn't want. If Stickis takes off, opting out of new channels as they pop up won't be a satisfactory way to manage your content. Also, the Stickis plug-in is available for Internet Explorer only right now. [Update: the Firefox plug-in is done. See CEO Mark Meyer's comments to this post.]
But this is a really interesting idea. It links Web sites together by content automatically, sort of like Sphere and YooNo. And I love the idea of the portable expert: With Stickis, you can take your favorite bloggers with you wherever you go on the Net. That's just incredibly cool. The service could stand to lose some of its advanced features in the name of not confusing the heck out of its users, but the underlying idea is powerful.See also: Diigo