The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13

Link that line

The newly open-source sentence-level linking engine from the New York Times, now called Emphasis, is seriously the coolest thing. Click over to that blog post, double-tap the shift key, click a paragraph and a line, and tell me you don’t love it.

What’s lovely about the Emphasis engine is that it’s actually usable. It’s not just a spec—not just some elegant new protocol that exists only in the virtual space between geeks’ brains. It’s a product! It has an interface and more than a little beauty.

And it seems to me that it’s actually an argument, in code, for the good ol’ fashioned open web—the web of pages and links. It’s like: “Slow down, App Store! We’re not done with this thing over here. We still have work to do.” Maybe it’s a futile argument—maybe the era of earnest linking is waning, and that’s just the way it is. But you never know. The web has surprised us before.

We should probably install it on Snarkmarket, huh?


Do it! I think you guys could find some creative ways to play with it. At the very least, I can stare at Snarkmarket all night, enabling/disabling the paragraph symbol.

All it needs is a layman’s guide to installing the JS on one’s site.

Oh yeah – it didn’t even occur to me… if someone wants to write it up before I do I’ll happily include it on github

I’m genuinely surprised you, of all people, didn’t point out this bit:,1,2%5D. The service is great and useful in and of itself, but that idea takes it to another magnitude of possibilities.

You’re totally right. Forget PageRank—now it can be ParagraphRank.

Assuming a large adoption – there is a lot of potential for showing what your friends have highlighted or even what everyone has on an aggregate level. I’ve prototyped these scenarios and there its is possible to do without overwhelming the page with color.

Someone’s already made a WordPress plugin:


Boom, that’s exactly what I was going to suggest. Awesomeness.

Neat! A little tricky to discover, but I have no idea how I’d make it easier. These things always remind me of the more-than-a-decade-old Purple Numbers project, which always seemed like a nice idea but was clunky of course.

The blogging and link sharing aspect of this is obvious, but it just hit me that this is useful for bookmarking, too. Just saved a bookmark in Pinboard highlighting the paragraphs that hit me in a Times piece recently, where before I would have added that content as the note.

This needs to be on all sites like yesterday.


The snarkmatrix awaits you

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