Following the comment by Panagiotis (thanks!) on the previous post “The Real Read / Write Web“, I decided to do aÂ little browsing around the Web Annotation and Social Bookmarking field and came up with a quick list of all the services I could find, with some short notes for each one. The web has come a long way since the days of Third Voice.
Check out the list below. Do you use any of them?
1. A. nnotate: http://www.a.nnotate.com
Allows you to add post-its to webpages and documents. The post-its are mainly for private use, but you can share them with others too. The site works by putting a browsing bar on the top of the webpage, i.e. you surf through their site. This is not my favorite, as it tends to limit what you can do in several ways.
In order to add post-its you basically take a snapshot of a website (since the content tends to change and your notes would be lost otherwise). You can put notes by high-lighting some text, or by choosing an image or portion of an image.
2. Co-ment: http://www.co-ment.net
You can create documents on the site, and you and other users can comment on them. This is more restricting in that you have to create the content first (or at least copy it) and it seems more aimed at academic use. Comments appear on left side of the page.
3. Cozimo: http://www.cozimo.com/
Allows collaboration on visual media, in live, real-time sessions. It seems to be a tool aimed at visual artists, mostly, although I’m sure that people can find many other uses. It seems to be very well designed and built. No glitches could be found in the software.
Allows the user to create specific projects, workgroups and upload files to projects. You can use editing tools during the sessions and also add notes. It has a chat function and a presenter mode.
4. Diigo: http://diigo.com
This one seems to be the biggest player in the field. Too complicated for my liking but this may just translate to “powerful” for more hardcore users. Uses a toolbar for all the actions that you can do, such as adding comments to sites, making private or public posts, make bookmarks and share them with friends. Diigo seems to be well-placed in the social bookmarking field, more so than any other tool I saw.
5. Fleck: http://fleck.com/
Another social bookmarking site. You can only add a single note to each site. You can build a list of bookmarks and share them with friends.
6. ReframeItÂ : http://reframeit.com/
ReframeIt adds a sidebar which holds the comments about the web page currently being viewed. Comments that you can make are all public and you can comment on text that you highlight. Nice idea, but still in the beginning as I could hardly find any comments on websites.
7. Shared Copy: http://sharedcopy.com/
Shared Copy may just win the award for “Less Invasive” since everything is done with a simple Ajax bookmarklet. You can make comments and see all other public comments made, but unfortunately the tool is not performing very well. Alas, you can’t ask for non-invasiveness AND good performance.
Again, I couldn’t find many public comments in the sites I tried.
8. Shiftspace: http://www.shiftspace.org/
Shiftspace uses Greasemonkey to get the job done. You can add comments to sites but can also add content to site, using Greasemonkey. Nice ideas but the interface that it’s using is clunky and becomes annoying (using Shift to enable the menu is not a good idea).
9. MyStickies: http://www.mystickies.com/
You can add private stickies to websites. This is an early version, and I don’t want to be unfair but it seems that the plugin doesn’t work with the latest Firefox version.
10. Webnotes: http://www.webnotes.net/
Can add stickies to sites. They’re by default private, but you can email permalinks including the stickies to others.
11. TrailFire: http://trailfire.com
TrailFire has an interesting concept. Instead of just annotating sites, you build trails. You connect pages through a trail, and add a little comment to each trail. All trails appear in a plugin column on the left side of the site and basically show a list of links relevant to the current site that a user may want to visit. I found the links occasionally too specific to be of interest, but I like the fact that it uses user feedback (instead of automations) to provide content. Will chek it out again.
12. Draw Here: http://drawhere.com
This is a fun little tool that allows you to add virtual graffiti to any page. Pretty ironic since “virtual graffiti” was the charge thrown at Third Voice. Well, these guys go for it literally. You get a paint brush and a bucket of paint and start drawing. All drawings are public. Besides it being fun, I can’t see any value. It might start getting annoying after a while, if too many pages are covered in graffiti. And then again it might not
13. Firedoodle: http://www.firedoodle.com/
A well-built but quite limited tool. You can use any site as a whiteboard, and make comments, notes or simply draw on it. Would be very useful for a web-design company but I can’t see much value for others. Still, it’s well-designed so the guys who made it may have other features in their list.
PS. Any authors of the services above, pissed-off because I didn’t take the time to do a proper review, are welcome to post in comments and I’ll fix any inaccuracies.
Image via Wikipediatags: analysis, report
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