Over on Writing & The Digital Life I embedded Michael Wesch's YouTube video about web 2.0 – The Machine is Us/ing Us. It's been a phenomenally successful video; You Tube has over 3000 comments as of writing this.
Beneath the fold there is a new development.
What you are watching is a Mojiti “spot set”; users can sign in an annotate embedded videos. Strikes me that this is transliteracy in action. Online annotation is perhaps a dimension of transliteracy. This wave has been building for a while. Sites like Diigo and Trailfire have explored annotation – with mixed results. It’s not a new idea; W3C has been working on their web browser/writer, “Amaya” since 1996. Indeed, Nelson’s concept of a docuverse in Xanadu always featured the ability to annotate documents. I suspect, however, that we’re in the midst of a convergence of technology (web2.0 sites), demographics (critical mass of always-on net connections) and culture (normalisation of writing on the web without needing to know HTML in sites such as Myspace) that means annotation may be a practice that is coming of age.