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[annotation][2b2k] Philip Desenne

I’m at a workshop on annotation at Harvard. Philip Desenne is giving one of the keynotes.

NOTE: Live-blogging. Getting things wrong. Missing points. Omitting key information. Introducing artificial choppiness. Over-emphasizing small matters. Paraphrasing badly. Not running a spellpchecker. Mangling other people’s ideas and words. You are warned, people.

We’re here to talk about the Web 3.0, Phil says — making the Web more fully semantic.

Phil says that we need to re-write the definition of annotation. We should be talking about hyper-nota: digital media-rich annotations. Annotations are important, he says. Try to imagine social networks with the ratings, stars, comments, etc. Annotations also spawn new scholarship.

The new dew digital annotation paradigm is the gateway to Web 3.0: connecting knowledge through a common semantic language. There are many annotation tools out there. “All are very good in their own media…But none of them share a common model to interoperate.” That’s what we’re going to work on today. “The Open Annotation Framework” is the new digital paradigm. But it’s not a simple model because it’s a complex framework. Phil shows a pyramid: Create / Search / Seek patterns / Analyze / Publish / Share. [Each of these has multiple terms and ideas that I didn’t have time to type out.]

Of course we need to abide by open standards. He points to W3C, Open Source and Creative Commons. And annotations need to include multimedia notes. We need to be able to see annotations relating to one another, building networks across the globe. [Knowledge networks FTW!] Hierarchies of meaning allow for richer connections. We can analyze text and other media and connect that metadata. We can look across regional and cultural patterns. We can publish, share and collaborate. All if we have a standard framework.

For this to happeb we beed a standardized referencing system for segments or fragments of a work. We also need to be able to export them into standard formats such as XML TEI.

Lots of work has been done on this: RDF Models and Ontologies, the Open Annotiation Community Group, the Open Annotation Model. “The Open Annotation Model is the common language.”

If we don’t adopt standards for annotation we’ll have disassociated, stagnant info. We’ll dereased innovation research, teaching, and learning knowledge. This is especially an issue when one thinks about MOOCs — a course with 150,000 students creating annotations.

Connective Collective Knowledge has existed for millennia he says. As far back as Aristarchus, marginalia had ymbols to allow pointing to different scrolls in the Library of Alexandria. Where are the connected collective knowledge systems today? Who is networking the commentaries on digital works? “Shouldn’t this be the mission of the 21st century library?”

Harvard has a portal for info about annotations:

3 Responses to “[annotation][2b2k] Philip Desenne”

  1. Been looking around at annotating tools for a new project, and I’ve been struck by the number of different things that fall under that one header:

    * indexing — allows you to group like things together
    * summarizing — well done, turns the original content into a “see more” option
    * rating — a signal (along with reputation of rater) about whether to “see more”
    * commentary — a non-metadata version of index, summary and rating

    And then there’s the question of whether you can annotate just whole documents or chunks within them, as marginalia always did — but in a searchable way.

    Interesting stuff!


  2. And this workshop took a broad view of annotation, quite appropriately. So it covers marginal notes by a reader, tagged queries of a database, teacher’s comments on a paper, video overlays to a scanned image, discussion threads attached to content, a musician’s note on the fingering for passage, etc.

    There is so much going on. I’m fascinated about how the metadata/standards will play out.

  3. Just discovered this exeellcnt discussion! Seems incredulous that there isn’t a simple way to do referenced notes on selections in a PDF. A simple workflow for me (as others have suggested) would be: highlight text in a PDF; add a small note associated with that text; export all annotations for the PDF in a format that lists sequentially: Document title, page number, each highlighted text followed by its note. Perhaps a programmer could tell us why this is difficult. Understandably text in the PDF format may not be easily addressable in a linear way (eg. in multi-column docs, and where graphics interrupts the text, etc.), but I would settle for being able to do this on the Mac in any standard text-only format epub, RTF, Pages, Word, even ASCII. Anyone know of a way to accomplish the above workflow on a Mac, in any way, shape, or form?Thanks Aleh, et al.- John

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