April 02, 2008

Web annotation applications for research

Writing about web page http://sharedcopy.com/

Web annotation applications allow you to annotate a web page and share the annotations with other people. Diigo does this, of course, but it also does so many other things.

I found SharedCopy is a quick and easy way to see what a simple annotation web application would do. It gives you a bookmarklet you can drag on to your browser, which will allow you to highlight text on the web page you are studying, stick comments and discussion threads on to it, and draw shapes on it. Then remember to save your annotations and you get a URL to their hosted copy of that web page with the overlay of your annotations, which you can then share with your collaborators or contributors. And all that for free and without even having to register for a SharedCopy account!

Although it is hard to tell whether the Gibeo project is still running, the site is still up and can help you to understand the development of this kind of services. Of course there exist many other web annotation systems.

Nevertheless I will continue exploring Diigo, since it seems quite useful for the researcher. It gives the impression of a sophisticated bookmarking service that could potentially become as community social as Facebook.

Diigo just now might be useful for a collaborative project involving commentary about web pages. However, researchers may find it cannot (yet) replace other research tools like Zotero, or even CiteULike.

- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. Emma

    Thanks for the link to Shared Copy. I’ve been looking for a site like that. The sites I’ve found before have been more a way of commenting about pages, rather than commenting on them. We’ve got interactive white boards in classrooms & I’d like to make better use of them. Given that we look a lot at websites, it’s easier to be able to get people to draw on them – and then to save the end result. Sometimes we’ve been able to do it with the white board software, but it has limitations. Between the two, I think it would have a lot of potential.

    14 Apr 2008, 12:12

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