Trying To Make Website Annotation Cool Again

from the try-try-try dept

Website annotation software isn’t new at all. It’s been around for years — though, it hasn’t taken off very much. In the late 90s, lots of folks were talking about ThirdVoice which allowed you to annotate pages, which made lots of web publishers quite angry — as they didn’t want anyone touching their content. However, Paul Boutin is making an effort to make web annotating cool again by renaming it “newsmashing,” and saying it could be a useful tool for political bloggers who want to comment directly about an article on the web without having to post an entirely separate blog post on it. He does note that some users would obviously get upset about this — especially those who freaked out over Google’s autolinks (which really is a very limited annotation system). Ernest Miller takes this a step further and points out that it could run into legal questions about copyright infringement for creating derivative works. While there is the “tragedy of the commons” issue of too much annotation and graffiti on a website, it does seem like an interesting idea. However, with history showing that people really aren’t that into annotation products, and the need for everyone to agree on a single standard, it seems unlikely to catch on any time soon.


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Comments on “Trying To Make Website Annotation Cool Again”

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4 Comments
Milly (user link) says:

Trying To Make Website Annotation Cool Again

And let’s not forget the W3C’s promotion of website annotation :-

http://www.w3.org/2001/Annotea/

Annotea is a W3C LEAD (Live Early Adoption and Demonstration) project under Semantic Web Advanced Development (SWAD). Annotea enhances collaboration via shared metadata based Web annotations, bookmarks, and their combinations. By annotations we mean comments, notes, explanations, or other types of external remarks that can be attached to any Web document or a selected part of the document without actually needing to touch the document. When the user gets the document he or she can also load the annotations attached to it from a selected annotation server or several servers and see what his peer group thinks. Similarly shared bookmarks can be attached to Web documents to help organize them under different topics, to easily find them later, to help find related material and to collaboratively filter bookmarked material.

Presumably Scoble, Winer et al think that’s evil too …

Anonymous Coward says:

a9.com has a web diary

a9 has a web diary that is part of their toolbar… any time you go to a page you’ve journaled about, it shows up just below the toolbar. Pretty slick, really, but not at all collaborative — i.e. I can’t see your diary, you can’t see mine, etc.

I suspect though, with a9 collecting all of this information, its a short distance away from being able to offer a collaborative tool VERY easily.

Interesting stuff.

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