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Some models/platforms for creating annotated texts

As we chew on the Bauer/Zirker piece on how to theorize and enact social annotation, I thought a few examples might be worthwhile, prior to our attempts to create our own texts. First, you might look at Bauer/Zirker’s own platform: here’s the beta version in which students have annotated Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper (obviously this is their test case in their article). Bauer/Zirker also mention the “social edition of the Devonshire Manuscript” on wikibooks, David Bevington’s editions of several of Shakespeare’s plays, and Whitman’s works at the Walt Whitman archive. Also see the Annotated Books Online and Digital Thoreau sites mentioned by Schacht: the latter was produced using CommentPress (see below). The Bevington and the Bauer/Zirker are the closest examples for what we might do: both add gloss to aspects of texts that might be opaque or challenging to students or  nonspecialized “lay readers.”

In terms of platforms, in addition to hypothes.is, we might consider:

  • CommentPress: a theme for WordPress that the MLA Commons uses for the Bauer/Zirker piece and that has been used by high profile DHers like Wardrip-Fruin and Fitzpatrick to circulate prepublication drafts of texts for public comment.
  • Medium: a proprietary platform (I’m sure you know it) that features bloggy presentation of a primary text and the capacity for readers to comment, like, etc., with a strong emphasis on social media promotion (and earning money). Here’s how to post on it.
  • Manifold Scholarship: powerful tool for rethinking scholarly publishing. I’ve not used it myself so am not sure of the learning curve, but our program’s own Matt Gold is one of the founders of the project, so there are local resources to help. Perhaps prohibitively complex for this project, but very doable for a final project.
  • Genius.com: like Medium, a proprietary platform that convenes a group of users around texts in which users can comment on the texts.
  • Ed.: example of “minimal computing,” a movement that seeks to create maximally accessible texts by dispensing with bandwidth-heavy dynamic modes of presentation characteristic of Web 2.0 (including WordPress) and embracing more minimalist, static presentation of texts. This would be somewhat challenging from a technical standpoint (one must first install Jekyll using the UNIX “command line” and then install the Ed. template, before editing the text there), but would be by far the most interesting path in many ways.

2 thoughts on “Some models/platforms for creating annotated texts

  1. Julia Bannon

    Genius is an especially fun platform in how it has been co-opted by the literary folk of the internet: here (https://genius.com/3215048) is Bartleby the Scrivener implanted onto the website as a “song,” and here (https://genius.com/albums/Walt-whitman/Leaves-of-grass) is Walt Whitman’s seminal “album,” Leaves of Grass, complete and annotated. (Reading them somewhat feels like watching the live extinction of the Norton Anthology via crowd-sourced meteor.)

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Group Project #2: Creating an annotated “edition” (due Friday, 10/25) | Doing Things with Novels

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