Thinking about how annotations in my books are really conversations with the text which also spur thinking about them in a way that’s similar to rubber duck debugging.

An awful lot of my thinking happens in the margins.

Replied to a tweet by Remi Kalir (Twitter)
My one hot take: A book about annotation should have had bigger (better) margins. Being part of a pre-existing series understandably made that difficult.

Let’s hear it for the electronic versions, which give us infinite space though!

Bookmarked Digital Mappa | an open-source DH platform (Digital Mappa)
Collect and mark up digital images and texts, link them together, annotate them, invite friends to collaborate, publish with one click.
This looks like a cool little project. I wonder how well this might make for a platform for a Domain of One’s Own/IndieWeb for Education?

I came across it via

which makes it sound like an off-label use case for their application. But given the functionality, it looks like it would fun/useful for those in the digital humanities space and could be a cool tool in one’s DoOO workshop.

Does anyone else have experience with it?

whitney trettien on Twitter: “I’m excited to share a digital edition of Susanna Collet’s 17th-century commonplace book, held at @morganlibrary. @zoe_braccia & I made it using @digitalmappa. It features a full transcription/facsimile & a searchable library of Collet’s source texts. https://t.co/VSCMmBhMS6 https://t.co/fyrbwS9kk1” ()

Hypothes.is as a comment system: Receiving @​mentions and notifications for your website

I’ve wanted @mention/Webmention support on Hypothes.is for a long time. I had URL hacked my way into a solution a while back but never wrote about it.

I was reminded today that one can subscribe to an RSS/ATOM feed of annotations on their site (or any site for that matter) using the feed format https://hypothes.is/stream.rss?wildcard_uri=https://www.example.org/* and replacing the example.org URL with the desired one. Nota bene: the /* at the end makes the query a wildcard to find anything on your site. If you leave it off you’ll only get the annotations on your homepage.

If you’re using Hypothes.is in an off-label use case as a commenting system on your website, this can be invaluable. I recall Tom Critchlow and CJ Eller trying this out in the past.

To go a step further, one can also use this scheme to get a feed of @mentions of their Hypothes.is username too. If I’m not mistaken, based on some preliminary tests, this method should work for finding username both with and without the @ being included.

These are a few interesting tidbits for those who are using Hypothes.is not only for the social annotation functionality, but as a social media site or dovetailing it with their own websites and related workflows.

Read Hypothes.is Social (and Private) Annotation by Dan AllossoDan Allosso (danallosso.substack.com)

How I use Hypothesis myself and with my students

Private groups are also my solution to the potential “saturation” problem that many people have asked me about. I DO think that there’s a potential disincentive to students who I’ve asked to annotate a document, if they open it and find hundreds of comments already there. I already face a situation when I post questions for discussion that people answer in a visible way, where some students say their peers have already made the point they were going to make. It’s easier to address this objection, I think, when EVERY LINE of a document isn’t already yellow! 

I’ve run into this issue myself in a few public instances. I look at my annotations as my own “conversation” with a document. Given this, I usually flip the switch to hide all the annotations on the page and annotate for myself. Afterwards I’ll then turn the annotation view back on and see and potentially interact with others if I choose.
Annotated on February 23, 2021 at 10:28PM

Small world of annotation enthusiasts, but hopefully getting bigger! 

I’ve always wished that Hypothes.is had some additional social features built in for discovering and following others, but they do have just enough for those who are diligent.

I’ve written a bit about [how to follow folks and tags using a feed reader](https://boffosocko.com/2019/11/07/following-people-on-hypothesis/).

And if you want some quick links or even an OPML feed of people and material I’m following on Hypothesis: [https://boffosocko.com/about/following/#Hypothesis%20Feeds](https://boffosocko.com/about/following/#Hypothesis%20Feeds)
Annotated on February 23, 2021 at 11:33PM

👋

Annotated on February 23, 2021 at 11:35PM

Read Browser Wish List - Bookmark This Selection by Karl DubosteKarl Duboste (otsukare.info)
All browsers have a feature called "Bookmark This Page". It is essentially the same poor badly manageable tool on every browsers. If you do not want to rely on a third party service, or an addon, what the browser has to offer is not very satisfying.

Bookmark This Selection
What I would like from the bookmark feature in the browser is the ability to not only bookmark the full page but be able to select a piece of the page that is reflected in the bookmark, be through the normal menu as we have seen above or through the contextual menu of the browser. 

Sounds kind of like they’re wishing for Hypothes.is?
Annotated on February 19, 2021 at 09:47PM

And yes, some add-ons exist, but I just wish the feature was native to the browser. And I do not want to rely on a third party service. My quotes are mine only and should not necessary be shared with a server on someone’s else machine. 

Ownership of the data is important. One could certainly set up their own Hypothes.is server if they liked.

I personally take the data from my own Hypothes.is account and dump it into my local Obsidian.md vault for saving, crosslinking, and further thought. Other portions go to my personal website for archiving and public display/consumption as well.
Annotated on February 19, 2021 at 09:50PM

Annotated The Glass Box And The Commonplace Book by Steven Berlin JohnsonSteven Berlin Johnson (stevenberlinjohnson.com)
...the frozen nature of the text seem more like a feature than a bug, something they’ve deliberated chosen, rather than a flaw that they didn’t have time to correct. 
The thoughtfulness and design of of Hypothes.is is incredibly valuable to me specifically because it dramatically increases my textual productivity in combination with my digital commonplace book.

How can I also connect this to the Jeremy Dean‘s idea of it helping to facilitate a conversation with texts. Nate Angell had a specific quote/annotation of it somewhere, but it might also reside in this document: Web Annotation as Conversation and Interruption.

Read Transclusion and Transcopyright Dreams (maggieappleton.com)

In 1965 Ted Nelson imagined a system of interactive, extendable text where words would be freed from the constraints of paper documents. This hypertext would make documents linkable.

Twenty years later, Tim Berners Lee took inspiration from Nelson's vision, as well as other narratives like Vannevar Bush's Memex, to create the World Wide Web. Hypertext came to life.

I love the layout and the fantastic live UI examples on this page.

There are a few missing pieces for the primacy of some of these ideas. The broader concept of the commonplace book predated Nelson and Bush by centuries and surely informed much (if not all) of their thinking about these ideas. It’s assuredly the case that people already had the ideas either in their heads or written down and the links between them existed only in their minds or to some extent in indices as can be found in the literature—John Locke had a particularly popular index method that was widely circulated.

The other piece I find missing is a more historical and anthropological one which Western culture has wholly discounted until recently. There’s a pattern around the world of indigenous peoples in primarily oral cultures using mnemonic techniques going back at least 40,000 years. Many of these techniques were built into daily life in ways heretofore unimagined in modern Western Culture, but which are a more deeply layered version of transclusion imagined here. In some sense they transcluded almost all of their most important knowledge into their daily lives. The primary difference is that all the information was stored visually and associatively in the minds of people rather than on paper (through literacy) or via computers. The best work I’ve seen on the subject is Lynne Kelly’s Knowledge and Power in Prehistoric Societies: Orality, Memory and the Transmission of Culture which has its own profound thesis and is underpinned by a great deal of archaeologic and anthropologic primary research. Given its density I recommend her short lecture Modern Memory, Ancient Methods which does a reasonable job of scratching the surface of these ideas.

Another fantastic historical precursor of these ideas can be found in ancient Jewish writings like the Mishnah which is often presented as an original, more ancient text surrounded by annotated interpretations which are surrounded by other re-interpretations on the same page. Remi Kalir and Antero Garcia have a good discussion of this in their book Annotation (MIT Press, 2019).

page of Jewish text with Mishnah in the center and surrounded by various layers of commentary in succeding blocks around it
Image of a super-annotated page of Torah from chapter 3 of Annotation (MIT Press, 2019) by R. Kalir and A. Garcia

It would create a more layered and nuanced form of hypertext – something we’re exploring in the Digital Gardening movement. We could build accumulative, conversational exchanges with people on the level of the word, sentence, and paragraph, not the entire document. Authors could fix typos, write revisions, and push version updates that propogate across the web the same way we do with software. 

The Webmention spec allows for resending notifications and thus subsequent re-parsing and updating of content. This could be a signal sent to any links to the content that it had been updated and allow any translcuded pages to update if they wished.

Annotated on February 09, 2021 at 02:38PM

In this idealised utopia we obviously want to place value on sharing and curation as well as original creation, which means giving a small fraction of the payment to the re-publisher as well.We should note monetisation of all this content is optional. Some websites would allow their content to be transcluded for free, while others might charge hefty fees for a few sentences. If all goes well, we’d expect the majority of content on the web to be either free or priced at reasonable micro-amounts. 

While this is nice in theory, there’s a long road strewn with attempts at micropayments on the web. I see new ones every six months or so. (Here’s a recent one: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLqrvNoDE35lFDUv2enkaEKuo6ATBj9GmL)

This also dramatically misses the idea of how copyright and intellectual property work in many countries with regard to fair use doctrine. For short quotes and excerpts almost anyone anywhere can do this for free already. It’s definitely nice and proper to credit the original, but as a society we already have norms for how to do this.

Annotated on February 09, 2021 at 02:46PM

Transclusion would make this whole scenario quite different. Let’s imagine this again… 

Many in the IndieWeb have already prototyped this using some open web standards. It’s embodied in the idea of media fragments and fragmentions, a portmanteau of the words fragment and Webmention.

A great example can be found at https://www.kartikprabhu.com/articles/marginalia

This reminds me that I need to kick my own server to fix the functionality on my main site and potentially add it to a few others.

Annotated on February 09, 2021 at 02:59PM

We can easily imagine transclusions going the way of the public comments section. 

There are definitely ways around this, particularly if it is done by the site owner instead of enabled by a third party system like News Genius or Hypothes.is.

Examples of this in the wild can be found at https://indieweb.org/annotation#Annotation_Sites_Enable_Abuse.

Annotated on February 09, 2021 at 03:04PM

Bookmarked Digital Social Reading public bibliography (Zotero | Groups) (zotero.org)

This is a public bibliography collecting the works published on the topic of "Digital Social Reading".

It is a work-in-progress maintained by Federico Pianzola with contributions by Simone Rebora, Peter Boot, and Berenike Herrmann.

Many of the records have complete abstracts or descriptions in metadata and are tagged according to the categories described in the article Rebora et al. (2020), "Digital Humanities and Digital Social Reading."

How meta! A digital social reading bibliography on a social media platform.
Read - Want to Read: Annotation for Transparent Inquiry (ATI) (Cambridge Core)
Annotation for Transparent Inquiry (ATI) is a new tool designed to facilitate transparency in qualitative and mixed-methods research. It allows scholars to “annotate” specific passages in an article with additional information explaining how they generated and analysed their data, along with links to a wide variety of underlying data sources. These annotations are displayed alongside their articles on the publisher’s website, with pinpoint linking to the relevant sections of text.
Bookmarked WorldBrain's Memex (getmemex.com)
Bookmarking for the power users of the web. A privacy focused extension to annotate, search and organize what you've seen online.
Has some interesting functionality and saves the data in places where you own it. Doesn’t have quite the functionality and ease of data transportation for putting it into a usable space for me. 

Forget about blackout poetry, Google enables highlight poetry in your browser!

Kevin Marks literally and figuratively highlighted a bit of interesting found poetry on Google’s Ten things we know to be true article. (Click the link to see the highlight poetry on Google’s page for yourself.)

A screenshot appears below:

Screenshot of a Google Page with the words "Doing evil is a business. take advantage of all our users" disaggregated, but highlighted so as to reveal a message.
Found poetry:
“Doing evil
is a business
take advantage of
all our users”

Here’s a shortened URL for it that you can share with others: bit.ly/D-ntB-Evil

It’s a creative inverse of blackout poetry where instead of blacking out extraneous words, one can just highlight them instead. This comes courtesy of some new browser based functionality that Google announced earlier this week relating to some of their search and page snippets functionality.

You can find some code and descriptions for how to accomplish this in the WISC Scroll to Text Github repository.

What kind of poetry will you find online this week?