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Hypothes.is: an open platform for scholarly discussion on the web (hypothes.is)
68 points by sohkamyung on Dec 2, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 24 comments

I'm seeing yet another metaweb ... I think either NS4 or IE4 had a built-in tool do this and even with half the web having it at its fingertips it still flopped.

The only real metaweb that has worked has been the indirect "share a link" on a link aggregator + comments - exactly what reddit, slashdot, digg, metafilter (funny name huh?) and hn are.

The insight is that there Needs To Be A Central, Browsable Repository of What Pages Have this Meta Content.

Without what is effectively a 21st century web-ring, it's not happening. There should be a page that shows new stuff and a search engine ... I mean essentially reddit + wikipedia. The layer has to a centralized interface

I did a fun experiment last year with Chrome extensions: for some websites, it adds comments about the current page from Reddit.

For some websites it actually works quite well. Some users reported it actually "adds a dimension" to the page.

So while i agree universal metaweb is doomed, I do believe in some specific additions from relevant sources.

Thats interesting, there's been many times I've stumbled on a page "organically" and wished there were reddit or HN comments I could read about it. I would use an extension that found them for me.

alientube will replace the (awful) youtube comments with reddit threads. Neatly presents a tabbed interface with each being a subreddit. It can get really useful.

I think the only (briefly) successful metaweb service I used was a "passive" Roleplaying Game. It ran in the background while you surfed and you could leave comments, bombs, treasures, etc on websites you visited. I would forget it was running, visit an interesting article, and BOOM a bomb would go off taking my hit points. It was called aethernet or ethernet or something like that. I can't find any evidence of its existence anywhere online now.

It also had a central repository of links and users would build "adventures" that were lists of links and you would visit each site along the narrative gaining experience and running into traps laid by other players when you wanted to be active.

I would love to have a layer of academic discourse over anything online, but I agree it seems unlikely this would take off considering how large the world wide web is and how spread out those comments would be.

given the choice between facebook or dysphoria, github or git, netflix or bittorrent, twitter or rss, the fed or bitcoin, I would much prefer the "web-ring" be decentralized. The thing is, in each example I gave, I would say the proprietary singular institution always works out better because the decentralized example is too complicated for the average joe to invest the time to learn.

instead of a central web-ring, what we really need is this standardized meta-layer language over html. a way for people to "write on" a web page, and have it written back to the web server. a protocol that all web browsers speak, and all web servers accept. it could even be more irc like and less reddit like, a live chat that exists between all the people with the page open. it could be both. let clients choose their own way to make sense of the metadata, different browsers can have different comment viewing interfaces and sorting algorithms. i see w3c mentioned, but i havent looked into how it is stored. can a webhost censor comments. is a blockchain between participating servers better, so the data is immutable?

then people can make competing centralized repositories or the pages/servers can communicate with dht/blockchains and create their own decentralized mesh.

> The insight is that there Needs To Be A Central, Browsable Repository of What Pages Have this Meta Content.

Are you able to give further examples of projects like Hypothesis failing? I’m not sure I’m quite ready to conclude this _can’t_ work without a centralized interface.

In any case, though, it would probably be straightforward to add a centralised top stories page while keeping comments inline.

Google Sidewiki the biggest I can remember

Found via an article on the service at Nature News [1]

[1] "Annotating the scholarly web" [ http://www.nature.com/news/annotating-the-scholarly-web-1.18... ]

Interesting to see not all major publishers are involved, e.g. Springer and Elsevier are missing. Given their (especially Elsevier's) policies toward making content publicly available I'm not too surprised.


We've had discussions with them, they'll take a little longer to engage, but I'm encouraged that they probably will-- I think annotation is inevitable for scholarship, regardless of whether it's using our technology or not.

The video emphasizes that this is controlled by users, not site owners, and that annotations are permanent.

So if, hypothetically, I ever managed to incite the wrath of an internet mob, they could use this to tack up my family's personal information over my homepage and various profiles, without me being able to do anything about it. Great.

They're "permanent" in that they're not controlled by the site owners. But without effective moderation, a public channel of annotations will become unusable, so spam and trolls must be dealt with effectively.

This is being run as a coalition of corporations, academics, and publishers. This leaves me with some concerns over just how open, accessible, and ultimately successful this enterprise will be.

It is clear to me, however, that an annotation layer for the internet is the future. The time to build this is unquestionably now.

Hey, the first Kickstarter I backed! Four years ago. Why is this on HN front page...? Did something happen?

Seems to still be active https://hypothes.is/blog/

Not to mention there's a "We're hiring developers" link at the top of every page.

Which is there every time the seek for the new investors begin.

> Did something happen?

This happened: https://twitter.com/hypothes_is/status/671684236869414914

This would be great for documentation. The number of times I've found something incorrect in the Android documentation and had no way to note it for others...

That said, I think it would have to be officially recommended by a website before many people would use it.

That's the thinking behind this coalition for the scholarly community.

I can see myself using this tool. A lot. But I'm missing a vote up(down?) button on annotations already.

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