W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-annotation@w3.org > July to December 1998

Re: barriers to deployment of web annotation?

From: Jakob Hummes <hummes@eurecom.fr>
Date: Wed, 09 Dec 1998 16:44:41 +0100
Message-ID: <366E9AE9.3A04099@eurecom.fr>
To: Elizabeth Frank <efrank@ncsa.uiuc.edu>
CC: www-annotation@w3.org
Elizabeth Frank wrote:
> I think that the annotation needs are being met in other ways.

I agree that also other annotation systems are needed.  Especially,
annotations for group members working on the same project are valuable. 
Systems exist for those annotations.

> For related topics there are forums, hypernews-like systems, related link
> pages and web rings. 

Yes, but you're only aware about them, if
a) you're member in one of these foren, or
b) the visisted Web page actually supports them (has a link to them).

> The only annotations that aren't supported are the third party review type
> which doesn't involve the primary site.  As others in this thread have mentioned,
> there doesn't seem to be a high enough demand for that type of annotation
> to get past the scalability and content value issues.

Not sure about it.  Before something is invented there is rarley a need
for it, what means: Nobody can tell you, before you have a running
system.  Then you may look on the acceptance rate.

> I have trouble coming up with a scenario that requires the third party annotation
> services you are talking about.

I would classify Alexa (www.alexa.com) as a first step in that
direction.  While Alexa only offer links to related Web pages it shares
some properties: It's independent of the Web sites and shows you also
links, which are not in the interest of the visited host (e.g.
competitors).  However, while Alexa includes also a basic rating system,
links are mainly generated by user statistics.

Third party annotation may be very powerful:
- Users that visit a Web page share a common interest.  You could look
on annotations of an URL as a newsgroup with the URL as topic.  As well
as you need a powerful filtering system for reading highly frequented
newsgroups (kill file, recommandation system, others), you'll need it
for annotations of frequently visited and annotated Web pages.
- Annotations do not need necessarely be persistent (forever).  They
could expire as postings in newsgroups.
- Annotations may be synchron.  Then you would be aware about who is
visiting the Web page at the same time as you.  You could combine it
with a chat tool.  Something like ICQ, but with URLs as the common
- Competitors will love them.  Now Netscape can advertise their
advantages over IE on the Microsoft pages :-)
- Scientists will love them.  Leave an online review of an article as
annotation and have a link to your publications.
- Consumers will love them.  If I'm going to buy the new vacuum cleaner
from X, I would be delighted to see the promotional offer by Y, which is
10% off.

I have a lot of use cases, where third party annotations may create
value-adds.  However, it can be assumed that most annotations are crap. 
So you need also a powerful filter.  On the other side: How do you find
right now interesting Web pages?  You perform also some filter
operations either manually or automated...

- Jakob 

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Received on Wednesday, 9 December 1998 10:50:20 UTC

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