By way of experiment I have added, where they exist, annotations of my postings to the posting itself. Such annotations are made in Hypothes.is an online annotations tool, with social features.
Hypothes.is uses the W3C standard for annotations, and the service has an API. That opens it up for experimentation. For instance there is a Obsidian plugin that pulls in my annotations and brings them to my notes.
I now experimentally use the API to check for annotations that exist for a single posting. If such annotations exist, a page with a single blogposting will mention the existence of annotations just above the comments, and provide a link to them. For this I adapted the template for single postings in my WordPress theme. See the image.
The number of annoations, if any, is shown beneath individual postings above the comments.
Like with comments this opens up a surface for people to interact with my blog and have that interaction made visible on my site. As with comments and trackbacks of old, this also opens up a possibility for spam, especially as there is no way yet for me to moderate such annotations to be shown, nor a way to prevent them in general.
Hypothes.is has existed for a decade and reached 2 million annotated articles early this year. It’s relatively unknown, and not commonly used. This at the moment should be enough ‘protection by obscurity’ for now. Maybe in time I will reconsider, there are valid reasons to do so.
Existing users of Hypothes.is don’t need a link like I added to my postings, they see that in their browser already (depicted below). However it may encourage other readers of this blog to check out those annotations and perhaps create their own.
In a next step I may aim to list the existing annotations, and their authors, not just link to them, but not immediately. First I’ll think some more about how I might use the Hypothes.is API for other things in my personal workflow.
A screenshot of how a logged-in Hypothes.is user in their browser sees a post on this site that has annotations.