Web annotation is already at scale
an xiao mina

Hey, an xiao mina, I found my way back to this old article of yours by following our Google Analytics traffic. I’d forgotten about this discussion and can now report in, two years later, with a little insight.

You included us in the article because of our work at Ponga annotating pictures. It’s no surprise that in pictures, annotation provides a useful way to capture visual context.

It’s still all about use cases. It turns out that visual experts don’t feel a need to “annotate pictures.” Talk to them about collaborating by “pointing into pictures,” they get it.

Their problem is that their clients try to talk to them all the time using pictures. They do that because it’s easy. Pinterest gives them an easy way to say “I like this.” But to the designer, the first question is “what is it about this that you like.”

As experts they have a vocabulary for every arcane architectural component. They don’t need pictures to reference the 47 arcane parts to a window. Their clients, however, don’t know what a sash is and are easily distracted.

By “pointing” (or virtually pointing using annotations) in a picture, they can be specific and engage their client in a conversation and make the lingo unimportant. For Ponga, this is a clear use case that’s working for us. Diving in, the distinctions and pain points get very subtle.

You’ll find an updated description of what we do at ponga.com. Thanks for the support, startups are all about discovery. Sometimes we just have to take the long way around.

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