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Biomedical and Electrical Engineer with interests in information theory, evolution, genetics, abstract mathematics, microbiology, big history, Indieweb, and the entertainment industry including: finance, distribution, representation







@MorrisPelzel @hypothes_is As a site owner how can I interact if I don't know the annotations exist? Or maybe I don't want to? (cf. and


@mrkrndvs Ultimately you could have more text than the original, so there's really no limit to the text beyond what your system will allow. I've not tried annotating .pdfs, but I suspect you could do it similarly to how I've done books via Kindle which let's me export/import data (example:,+Quotes). Having all the data on my own site (even if it's private) allows me much easier search via categories, tags, etc. as well. Typically for books I'm using fair use guidelines, though I'm often respectful and keep lots of my data viewable only to me, so copyright isn't a huge concern generally. For book length pieces, the Amazon Kindle will typically limit you to a percentage of the book to prevent copyright issues from the start. I don't think I've ever run up against their limit. Part of the process is to get enough to excerpt the thought to be able to find it later via search and reference it. I can always refer back to the original if necessary.

For more substantive annotations I try to add them slightly off to the side in a different font/size, but you'll also notice that some of the blue highlights also have "hidden" annotations if you hover over them with your mouse. Things can be a bit crowded with the additional highlights added by Hypothesis (and other people), though I can choose to disable them if I want for my personal work. Hopefully it's relatively obvious based on what's on the page which parts are the original text and which are my additions. When excerpting articles like Watters', the canonical URL on the page points to the original, so all the SEO and links ultimately redound to the original.


@audreywatters @mtechman @hypervisible @onewheeljoe Even with the script blocking @hypothes_is it is still possible to annotate Fortunately, though public annotations appear in the Chrome extension as existing, they don't physically appear on the site itself and need to be searched for manually to be found. I was able to do this with only just a few minutes of work, and could probably hack something more significant with some time/effort. should really try to do a better job of preventing abuse in these types of situations so writers needn't worry about providing abusers the ability to use a writer's own platform to harass them. Perhaps borrowing the NIPSA concept from Flickr for flagged annotations and/or accounts? (NIPSA is an acronym for "Not In Public Site Areas", and an admin feature of Flickr that allows their support staff to mark an account such that posts from it will not be shown in search results and other similar public views of posts.)


(Consider Adding Web Annotations to WordPress) – WordPress Trac

Mostly to provide some additional resources to the conversation I'll add the following:

Web Annotation Working Group's [ three recommendations and two additional notes]

Prior to the WPTavern post which motivated the conversation, there was a [ post written by Dan Whaley of] who worked extensively within the group. This post has some interesting overview, but those interested in a fully implemented annotation platform (presumably using many of the pieces of the proposed standard) should take a quick look at [], what it is and what it allows. Their front page has a pretty useful video introduction.

Keep in mind that some of the standard is geared specifically toward browsers and browser vendors, though WordPress could certainly implement some of the pieces from the CMS side.


@realkimhansen @signlfm If you hadn't been aware, this came out earlier in the week and may be of overlapping interest:
Three recommendations to enable Annotations on the Web | W3C News
Their method of breaking down the problem and their vocabulary may be particularly useful; the overlay onto audio may be another problem altogether...

I also thought this post (with code) by Aaron Parecki, while a relatively simple concept, was exceptionally cool.


Replied to a post on :

Settings UI/UX feature requests: Ability to globally auto-set post publicly/post to self · Issue · hypothesis/h

Perhaps it exists already and I'm not seeing it, but most of what I highlight and annotate, I typically prefer if it were automatically published freely and in the open. Currently it appears that highlights default to "only me" after they're highlighted. Annotations appear to default to public initially as they're being written, but when re-entering the text without manually hitting publish, they then are posted automatically to "only me".

This may be a reasonable default, but it means spending more time with the interface while I'm reading/working and thereby taking me out of the flow of my work.

Unfortunately, there is no default setting for forcing my highlights and annotations to be public, which means when I'm done reading that I have to go into the UI and manually do three button presses to make this happen for EVERY post. Click to edit, click the setting arrow, and finally click to publish. UGH!

In addition to allowing a master setting toggle for public/private at the main account level which would alleviate a large portion of my issue, I'd also recommend that rather than a drop down menu with two options that there just be a simple toggle to switch between public/private on each post so the user can accomplish in one click (or fingerpress on touchscreens) what currently takes two. Admittedly it's also controlling a "publish" function simultaneously, but I think that each post could have a public/private toggle and a separate "publish" button without cluttering up the UI too much.


julzybee73 If you're interested in apps for researchers, teachers, and students, you might also consider looking at additional apps like Diigo, Mendeley, and (for highlights and annotations). For bookmarking sites, there's a pretty good list here: I've written a bit about how I use my personal blog to do some of this workflow here:


I'm wondering if the @NYTimes used the Annotation Summit to make @Hypothes_is unusable on its site?


I've uploaded my notes, highlights, & annotations of "Maps of Time" by @davidgchristian


Replied to a post on :

UX Suggestion · Issue #3 · kshaffer/hypothesis_aggregator

Towards the end of using this plugin as part of an online "notebook" or commonplace book, it would be nice to have finer control over the listings of the annotations.

As an example, look at:
The original post was a "bookmark" to an article which was then annotated, solely by me. When embedding the annotations (in this case the shortcode included one author and one specific tag), it becomes overly redundant to repeatedly include that the annotations were by me, that they're from the same article, and including the picture multiple times. As this is likely a frequent use case for such a plug in, perhaps when the same annotator is repeated all the annotations could come under one heading and similarly if it's the same article, those could be concatenated along with just one photo as well.

Suggested output:
Annotations by AUTHOR1:
- annotation 1 from PAGE1
- highlight 2 from PAGE1
- highlight 3 from PAGE1
- annotation to go with highlight 3 from PAGE1

Annotations by AUTHOR1:
- annotation 1 from PAGE2

Annotations by AUTHOR2:
- annotation 2 from PAGE2
- annotation 3 from PAGE2

This type of logic isn't too difficult given the current configuration though it may require some thought for the pending changes to add and/or functionality for multiple authors and multiple tags.

One particular hurdle may be cases where the order of annotations could potentially tell a "story" and even more so when there are multiple authors providing multiple annotations (for example when using this in a classroom setting versus a single-author notebook.)

Providing a visual indicator like # which includes a wrapped permalink URL for the particular article could allow the user to also quickly jump to that page and see the broader flow of annotations on a single page, especially in a classroom type setting where dozens of students may have made hundreds of annotations which may provide a slightly better contextual UI experience, while still allowing the (shortcoded) web page to include all of the annotations for historical purposes.


Replied to a post on :

Potential future features · Issue #2 · kshaffer/hypothesis_aggregator

This plugin is spectacular by the way... Here are some thoughts on future development:

It would be great if the displayed text output from the shortcode included a permalink to the original annotation on Hypothesis. As a UI suggestion, perhaps you could place it after the title of the annotated page thusly:
URL WRAPPED TITLE | < a href="permalinkhere">#</a>

Being able to circumscribe dates for displayed annotations could be useful, particularly in cases where one wants to highlight only a handful of annotations from a particular user with a particular tag but specific ones within certain time parameters. Additionally pages with embeds could, over time, require importing huge numbers of annotations which may not be ideal, or the context may change with significant future annotations that aren't relevant to what could be a static post that's trying to highlight just a few particular annotations. Time parameters could also prevent future possible spam on unwatched embeds with only "tag" parameters that could be targeted by bad actors.


As someone who uses <a href="">my own WordPress site</a> as a research notebook/tool and commonplace book (as well as for owning all of my own data and social posts), I'm <a href="">already loving</a> this plugin and can see some tremendous potential for improvements on both it and on the platform in the future.

While I've played around with other platforms like as well, seems to have a more focused approach to how I prefer to use annotations, highlights, and marginalia on the web. It also has a growing API and related suite of tools which portend more flexibility and growth for the future.

Still, one must be cognizant for how these sometimes "hidden" tools can be used for abuse and bullying on the web: <a href="">Webmentions for improving annotation and preventing bullying on the web</a>[]