Imagine surfing the Web, and being able to look at what other Web sites or other visitors wrote about the site you’re visiting.
For example, someone might be viewing a manufacturer’s web page relating to a product they are interested in purchasing.
A past effort at Web annotation was the Third Voice browser plug-in, which let people post public notes about a site that could be seen by other Third voice viewers. Many of those ended up being spammy and/or inappropriate. Click on the image below for a larger version of Google’s potential approach.
This invention would let people receive summaries of blog posts linking to the Web site being visited. Those people could also perform a Web search or blog search through a search engine requesting documents relevant to the site.
Decentralized Web Annotation
International Publication Date 21 June 2007
International Publication Number WO 2007/070791 A2
International Application Number: PCT/US2006/061922
International Filing Date: 12 December 2006
Invented by Brian Rakowski and Aaron Boodman
Annotations relating to web sites may be based on blog posts relating to the web sites. A user viewing a web site may concurrently view related blog posts about the web site. More particularly, in one implementation, a method includes detecting when a user visits a web page and receiving, in response to the detection, a group of blog posts that link to the web page. The method further includes displaying an indication of the group of blog posts to the user while the user is visiting the web site.
The idea behind using blog posts instead of direct user annotations is that:
inappropriate or spammy comments about a web site can be reduced, as blog posts tend to have an inherent level of seriousness associated with them and the blog posts can be ranked or otherwise filtered based on the quality of the underlying blog.
A status bar may indicate how highly a site or page is annotated, with a “buzz” icon shown, tied to a “buzz rating” based upon the annotations linking to the site. It may reflect the “number, quality, and/or temporal relevance of the annotations.” The icon may change in size and/or color to provide an indication that the annotations for the site may have changed since a last visit.