I loved the two annotatathons I have been a part of this week. Or as I told Jeremy Dean in a Tweet:
@dr_jdean I have been digitally annotating for over ten years now (mostly Diigo),last night was a real culminating moment. Grateful.
— Terry Elliott (@telliowkuwp) January 12, 2016
This “culminating moment” was a community of “practice” exercise in annotation that was a perfect model of Mimi Ito’s phrase “homago”–hanging out, messing about, geeking out. This Hangout YouTube is my evidence.
We ‘hung out’ a little beforehand to get our bearings and make sure we had set up a bare minimum of initial ‘rules’ (how to screencast as you annotated, what you might want to focus on, and how long we would go on). We then ‘messed about’ in this jungle gym of an article written by Katherine Schulten and Jeremy Dean on the subject of annotation tools and styles. Some spoke while they wrote, others were silent. All were shown on the Hangout messing about with annotation in real time. Last, we ‘geeked out’ with the affordances and adjacent possibilities of the tool and the idea of collaborative annotation.
The second annotatathon was the State of the Union Address organized by Hypothes.is. I have never been so engaged with a speech. I was an agent who was annotating the text of the speech. I was an audience member listening to an important and historic event. I was a citizen evaluating the state of our union within my own local context. All at once. Memorable. And the annotation was full and rich. We created something that has not really existed before: real time, online citizen participation in the culture of national politics.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I was mentally exhausted after an hour of this so I went to bed. The next morning I woke to a tweet from Tom Scheinfeld scoffing a bit at Nicholas Kristof’s tweetstorm of the State of the Union address. I didn’t quite agree that what Kristof did wasn’t a ‘column’ and by implication not worthy of the reader or the author. What follows below is my Storified version of Twitter events.