Thinking about Annotations

Mike's been considering how to intertwingle sources and annotations - a favorite interest of mine.

It's quite possible that 2015 is to annotations what 2004 was to self-publishing. As annotations move mainstream, wiki can make them better.

Pinboard, he points out, makes a quick and dirty annotation system. I use Pinboard notes for brief and concise notes on sources, which are then stored on Pinboard, and (via a plug-in) posted to twitter and later to my blog. These annotations are public - they are more valuable that way. I've found that making them public forces me to be concise, and clever, and not too obscure.

But Mike is thinking about wikifying annotations on, for instance, Pinboard by using a free-standing note that is linked to the sources it refers to. A tag will find all the sources, but links in a note will point to specific sources and annotations inside or outside of Pinboard. It's a neat idea. DevonThink does it. Tinderbox does it. But neither are federated.

I also tag the notes, and those tags are carried into my blog, as well. So it's easy enough to gather set of sources and their annotations together in pinboard or on my blog. On the blog, those pinboard notes will also gather with other posts on the blog using the same tag, creating a larger, more diverse set.

Do a search on my Pinboard for Fedwiki:Pinboard FedWiki search .

So, can we use FedWiki as the annotation platform instead of Pinboard? I've been playing around with connecting Pinboard and FedWiki Experiment with Pinboard. Getting links to sources and annotations held on Pinboard into a page is not the quick and dirty drag and drop that gets out of the way.

Dragging doesn't work well. The factory doesn't parse both text and link on a dragged element. Perhaps that can be developed.

Maybe this awkwardness is for the best - to keep sources and notes on those sources outside of FedWiki. I can see the beauty of using FedWiki as a central point from which to organize, catalog, and comment on sources that are held, perhaps necessarily, on multiple platforms. But I don't think that's how I work, or want to work.

I use Pinboard as a commmonplace book that I then mine for use in FedWiki, a blog, a piece of curriculum, whatever. As I work with sources, I move away where ever I store these sources and their notes and towards the text I'm drafting. While collecting sources, I make notes on sources right with the source. Pinboard is good for that. But as I bring sources together, the text I'm drafting becomes a hub, and starts to primarily draw from the sources and only secondarily refers to those sources through hypertext links. That is, I summarize, quote from, paraphrase, critique the sources directly in the draft and use links as references. That moves the status of the text I'm creating from annotation margin to center.

FedWiki suits this workflow because the draft I'm working on can be linked to not only pinboard sources and notes but other sources, not initially collected in pinboard, including other FedWiki pages.

That is, I don't hypertextually link to texts I need to bring in to create a new text, I include those texts in the new text I'm creating. That's very old school scholarship, but it seems to suit the demands I work to.

What happens next is that my new text goes into circulation and can be annotated. If it's posted in FedWiki, it can accrue annotations right there. And that's where the sense of FedWiki as an annotateable platform wins out: when we annotate FedWiki pages.

Being able to push annotations out to others is pretty powerful. Here's what Fedwiki as Memex-Journal has to say:

> It would be important that fedwiki could either replace Evernote, Pinboard, etc. or be used as a seamless adjunct to them, since people think their real problem is capture (they don't realize the real issue is connection). Therefore fedwiki would have to compete as a capture/annotation product.

"the real issue is connection." And abduction, maybe?

Here's a consideration of liking as annotation: how we might link blog post .

Then there's a book chapter on annotating the web "There Are No New Directions in Annotations" in Web Writing. book chapter