In early June, over 125 people convened at San Francisco’s historic Fort Mason for I Annotate 2018, the sixth annual conference for annotation technologies and practices, focused on this year’s theme, At the Tipping Point: Annotation on the Web. As in the past, I Annotate brought together leading thinkers and practitioners in education, journalism, publishing, research, science, and technology who share deep engagement with digital annotation in a wide variety of contexts and uses. Thanks to video sponsorship from HighWire, you can watch all the formal sessions from the gathering, along with short interviews with several attendees who share their perspectives on the event, the community, and annotation in general.
There’s no way to summarize all the rich material people shared at I Annotate, but big themes came up right away as sessions in the opening morning grappled with the roles annotation can play in combating various kinds of information disorder (e.g. fake news). Sessions with publishers emphasized how annotation is an increasingly essential part of their continuing move to digital delivery and interaction, with a recurring focus on accessibility and inclusive design to ensure all users can engage with online texts. We heard how annotation in research and scholarship is laying exciting groundwork for humans and machines to come together and build connections and new knowledge across scholarly records and toolsets, from Shakespeare and botany to astronomy and bioscience. Educators described how they are bringing annotation into teaching and learning in new ways and starting to explore the impact of social reading: early signs show that annotating together helps people learn and retain as well as connect and collaborate. The community is already starting to collect the data to extend this early research.
Watch videos of all the #ianno18 formal sessions and interviews.
Continuing I Annotate’s tradition of bringing people together in new ways, this year’s program included the widest mix ever of different session types, from keynote and individual presentations, to panels, flash talks, demonstrations, hands-on workshops and attendee-led unconferencing, followed by a hack day where people gathered to focus on moving specific technical work forward. Our special thanks to members of the program committee that shaped the event and all the speakers and participants who together delivered a rich and thought-provoking experience. You can browse the full program with links to videos and presentations for all formal sessions.
Get a first-hand account from a few attendees who sat down for short interviews during the hack day: like developers Hannah Stepanek from Hypothesis and Juan Corona from Evident Point, folks from publishing like W.W. Norton Lab Co-director Evan Yamanishi and John Wiley & Sons Solutions Architect Benjamin Young, and educator Remi Kalir from the University of Colorado Denver and Heather Staines, Director of Partnerships at Hypothesis.
Browse the full #ianno18 program to find all the videos and presentations from formal sessions.
Yet it wasn’t all serious talk about annotation: lunch took attendees outside in beautiful weather off San Francisco Bay for informal dining provided by local food trucks. Early arrivals convened for the pre-conference social at one of the world’s most unique establishments: The Interval, the public house of the nonprofit Long Now Foundation, which works to foster long-term thinking, in part, by building a clock designed to run for 10,000 years. I Annotate participants also ended each day with refreshments at a different San Francisco eatery and those who stayed for the hack day gathered around Hypothesis CEO Dan Whaley’s firepit to wind down the proceedings.
Planning for next year has already started. If you have attended or ever wanted to attend I Annotate, we’d love your input on how to shape future gatherings in a short survey. We’re especially interested in your thoughts about the timing and location of the event. Subscribe to the I Annotate mailing list and follow @i_annotate on Twitter to hear first when and where next year’s event will be and make sure you know when the call for presentations and registration open and the program is announced.
The best suggestion we’ve heard so far for next year is to have ice cream sandwiches in the afternoon. We hope to see you eating one at I Annotate 2019!
Spend just a couple of minutes helping shape I Annotate 2019. We’re especially interested in your thoughts about the timing and location of the event.