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RE: Backlash vs. Third-Party Annotations from MS Smart Tags

From: Marja-Riitta Koivunen <marja@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2001 18:24:21 -0400
Message-Id: <4.1.20010618144936.050589e0@>
To: Laurent Denoue <denoue@pal.xerox.com>, "'Kynn Bartlett'" <kynn@reef.com>
Cc: "'www-annotation@w3.org'" <www-annotation@w3.org>
At 02:02 PM 6/15/01 -0700, Laurent Denoue wrote:
>Annotea and other annotation systems are not specifically tailored to Web
>authors and designers
>but to people who read the pages.
>And I don't see how Web designers and authors could prevent us (the readers)
>to use such systems.

I agree, these are for different groups of readers helping them to make
comments on things that they read and helping them to communicate with other
readers. Here is a sample scenario for Annotea readers, that hopefully explains
some of the usage possibilities and how they relate to the fears of annotation
technology. From my viewpoint the scenarios for Smart Tag technology are quite

Set of  readers may belong to a group A making standards. They create a new
version of a standard X and start publishing their comments on that version as
Annotea annotations on their annotation server. Group A has couple of dedicated
editors who have write access, with annotation technology they can use the
annotations made by others without giving everybody write access. Also the
editors don't need to go through mail archives and try to attach the comments
to right parts of the document. They can read the document and see comments
right on the chapters or words that they are concentrating on their current
editing efforts. So here annotations provide an easy user interface and I don't
see why we should make the editing of the document harder by not allowing users
to use the technology. This group also has a social process that freezes
documents when new versions are published so they don't even have the problem
of orphan annotations.

Another group B also creates comments as annotations for the public version of
the stardard X document somewhere on the Web. Now the group A has an option to
ignore them by not reading their annotations from group B's annotation server,
by specifically subcribing to the server to read them because they feel these
annotations are good and help them in their job, or reading them but using
filtering and various icons so that they know which annotations are made by
group A and which annotations by group B.

A bit later, someone who is angry with the editor from group A starts sending
nasty annotations about the standard X to a special graffiti server that let's
any users to annotate anything. Earlier this same user would have sent the
nasty comments to some public discussion list, now they are nasty annotations.
In both cases the reader can try to ignore them by not subscribing the mailing
list or the graffiti server at all or subscribing it and using strong filtering
with some users who send comments to the server or the mail list. So there are
social processes involved also with this technology. 

Most of the readers of the standard X don't subscribe to the specific
servers mentioned above, they just look the document as is or may use  their
company local annotation servers where they discuss how the standard could be
used in the context of their company.


>In the paper world, the problem is less of importance, since only ONE reader
>usually "destroys"
>the layout of the author by highlighting and marking the pages.
>In the electronic word, you can get the marks left by other readers even
>before you start your own annotations.
>This can become a problem, greatly examplified by ThirdVoice (cluttered
>annotations on Web pages).
>I believe annotation tools will be used, but readers might want to filter
>annotations (like using specific
>annotation servers: your classroom, your university, your company, your
>research group...).
>[Author of the Yawas Web annotation system. By the way, try www.yawas.com:
>I'm not hosting this web site, but fans of Maria Carey might like it ;) ]
Received on Monday, 18 June 2001 18:20:07 UTC

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