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Annotate.net offers "trusted" annotation

by Edd Dumbill -- 2000/04/13

In an attempt to make annotation useful (or safe?) Annotate.net provides a browser helper application that supplements browsing with annotations from content providers such as CNET and Rolling Stone.

Annotate.net explains their approach:

Today the web contains billions of bits of information, but users are overwhelmed with more clutter, noise and disinformation being added by the minute. Additionally, there is no way to discern the veracity or dependability of one subject, product, or idea over another. Consequently, it is increasingly difficult for publishers to break through the clutter and drive traffic while providing value-added information to the customer.

Not so much annotation, as publishing about publishing. It is also somewhat spurious to imply that "clutter, noise and disinformation" does not come from publishers themselves.

Will users who prefer the "trusted voices" of Annotate.net simply just stick to "trusted" sites such as CNET in the first place, anyway? And for users with more eclectic tastes, the rise of weblogging is ensuring that "trusted" voices for content are appearing to suit anybody's taste.

The one intriguing content provider here is Epinions.com, who are surely amassing enough content to undertake a feature like this themselves anyway. The model of Annotate.net has some similarities with Alexa, which has failed to make its way past the helper-app stage.