This is from an old article dug up from the search- 2011 to be precise. Web annotation hasn’t taken the world by the storm, but honestly, I wasn’t aware of the origins of the service.
I have been using this for a few days. It is a free model, and despite all the years, they haven’t been able to figure out the core audience. While I appreciate the candour and the idea behind the web annotation, I think it still represents a massive leap for the students (and educators) or the laypersons alike.
He proposes that Hypothes.is will work as a browser plug-in for Firefox, IE, and Chrome. It will add an overlay to Web pages with a heatmap along the side showing where people left comments.
He wants to bring the best comments up from the bottom of most Web pages.
People in the system with the highest reputations can up-vote the best comments and down-vote the worst ones. It’s like Quora or StackOverflow applied to the entire Web.
In the past nine years, Quora and StackOverflow have gone from boom to bust. Quora has transformed itself into a spam website while no one’s heard about Stackoverflow. It is not the quintessential “silicon valley” type of failure but, instead, betrays a lack of understanding need for engagement or monetisation models. Arguably, the idea was way ahead of its time, but the reason it never panned out because it actually requires a lot of user interaction.
I haven’t found much value in annotation, per se. The extension, while it works in Vivaldi, is clunky and there is no way to get your data out of the service. I raised the issue with the “customer support”; they asked me to “try my luck in the open slack forum”! The other way out is to create some interface that would deal with their API’s but good luck with that too!
I inherently dislike a service that prevents the users from data export. Again, they have transformed themselves into a “tech nonprofit” which somehow magically prevents broader scrutiny.
So, well, a fawning press, a good idea way before it was launched and now possibly languishing. I’d be genuinely interested to see this thrive but not with the caveats it imposes.