Annotate This Post

I have been using Hypothesis to make annotations and highlights across the web for a while now. After some time, it struck me odd that I had not tried to turn the tool inward. Why not give others the ability to annotate and highlight my own writing?

So now Hypothesis is native on the blog. There are two things to notice. One, some parts of this post are highlighted in yellow. If you click them, a sidebar will pop up with the annotations therein. Two, if you highlight a part of text, Hypothesis will prompt you to make an annotation or a highlight. Making an account is easy. Think of the account as giving you the superpower to not only annotate here but anywhere on the web.

This experiment is an extension of a broader conversation on building meaningful interaction and context into the web. I have carried around this thought from a post by Bix:

One thing I miss about writing on Medium is highlighting, and it got me thinking last night and again this morning that blogging platforms should do away with likes, or refrain from implementing them if the platforms are under development, and instead implement reader highlights.

Likes are completely devoid of both content and context. If a reader doesn't have anything useful or interesting to add by way of posting a comment, their only other choice should be to highlight something in what they read that especially spoke to or struck them.

And if they do have something useful or interesting to add, why not have it attached to the thing that they read that especially spoke to or struck them? That is the strength of web annotation software – it can allow a spectrum of interaction that still gives context to reader and writer alike.

I hope you will join the experiment.