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Annotations are comments (including marginalia), highlights or any other interactions that add to (part of) a post, typically added by individuals other than the author.

Use Cases

W3C Recommendations

On 2017-02-23 the W3C published several inter-related recommendations based on the notes of the Web Annotation Working Group. For some discussion on them, see Annotation is now a web standard post on blog.


Opinions about "annotation" (the process/action).

Just a means to an end

  • To me, annotation is just a means to an end, so talking about promoting annotation is mistaken. Promote the end *via* annotation. #force2016
    --William Gunn

Silo Examples

  • News Genius (AKA Genius, RapGenius)
  • Amazon allows the sharing of notes and highlights from it's Kindle platform online. Example: recent activity
  • Goodreads
    • On 2016-08-10 Goodreads enabled the ability to sync one's account with their Amazon Kindle account to port over highlights and annotations from Kindle books to the GoodReads platform and share them with one's followers. (GoodReads is a subsidiary of Amazon). The blog post Share Your Kindle Notes and Highlights with Your Friends (Beta) describes the details of the functionality whose UI is pictured below.
    • Some of the functionality offered includes
      • Highlights and notes are private by default
      • A slider on/off button to make individual annotations visible as well as one to make all annotations visible
      • The ability to delete individual annotations
      • The ability to add notes to each highlight online
      • The ability to mark highlights and notes as spoilers.

goodreads notes and highlights.PNG

Other Annotation Related Projects

In 2016/2017 Hypothesis was maintaining an active spreadsheet of sites and services that enabled annotation on the internet.


Annotation Sites Enable Abuse

Many web-based annotation programs/applications only allow the communities or subgroups who are aware that they exist to see the annotations, thereby making them available for potential abuse.

See specifically:

Webmentions could be used to help remedy this potential problem:

See Also