Simplifying the Process of Sharing Web Annotations
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recently announced the publication of three new standards that would simplify sharing of web annotations. There is a long lineage of annotation tools that allow online readers to write comments for website content. Users of such tools will be happy to know that those annotations can now be represented, stored, and exchanged by interoperable web portals and servers. The new W3C standard is a fundamental upgrade to the web that will bridge information silos and enable far easier content sharing and reuse.
Most annotation systems used in the market today are proprietary technologies chosen and provided by publishers. Hence, the comments about a web page can only be saved and viewed on a single website. The adoption of the web annotation standards attempts to spell an end to these problems, by letting the online readers decide where and how they provide feedback.
One sector that would directly benefit from the use of these standards is the e-book websites. Sharing annotations from an ePub reader—using a phone, computer, or dedicated device—will result in massive and rapid improvement in the process of knowledge and information sharing. The new standard will also bring umpteen advantages for researchers. By adding more flexibility in terms of online content sharing, scholars and researchers around the world can collaborate faster and more effectively for their studies. That said, it is only for the time to test how these new web annotation standards would transform the entire digital content management industry.