What is it?

We’re going to kick off this basketball game (yeah, I pretty much suck at sports metaphors) by having a quick look at what hypothes.is is and and what it does.

It’s a web-based service

Much like other web-based services it involves setting up an account. This account enables you to do things of value to yourself as well as interact with others in certain ways. Specifically the account stores your annotations and responses. While you can certainly log into your account to review your annotations and other aspects of your hypothes.is account, you will mostly work with hypothes.is with the web browser overlay layer. This consists of a couple of buttons and a panel in your web browser.

So what is this service

Hypothes.is enables an “annotation” layer to the web. What this means is that it provides tools for you to make annotations on web pages, save them for later, share annotations with others and, in turn, see the shared annotations of others. Users can also post replies to each other’s annotations, thus creating a dialogue.

How does it work?

I don’t know all the inner workings, but essentially hypothes.is tracks a few¬†things: web pages (and pdfs), users, and annotations that users have made on those webpages.

Okay, how does it work from a user point of view

When hypothes.is is active in your web browser (we’ll talk about the ways to make this happen shortly) you will see a couple of buttons and a panel on the right side of your browser window for engaging with hypothes.is.

You select text on a webpage to make an annotation about and enter your annotation in the panel. The panel also lists annotations by others, should there be any, and enables you to respond to them.



Title image: Seuss, Doctor, and Adrian Edmondson. Green eggs and ham. New York: Random House, 1960.