Layers, or annotation collections

The current way to share something in memex is to simply share the whole bulk of (non-protected) annotations in a page or collection. This is okay if you mean to either

  • share your annotations, or
  • keep them protected for you.

The problem is, you might want to share the same web content with various groups of people, targeting certain annotations and highlights at group A, and other annotations and highlights at group B, etc… The current behaviour is not fine-grained enough.
This is what does with its “group” feature, where you “post” your annotations in one or another group. It can be invaluable for people needing to serve the same document in various contexts, but tailoring their seasoning of this document to suit each context. Teachers are a good example.

Solution 1: layers

A memex version of this tailoring could be “layers”. Layers would be “collections” for annotations, highlights and comments. Remember that currently, collections collect entire pages, not individual annotations. By contrast, you would then be able to associate an annotation with a specific layer, say LayerA, and another annotation with LayerB, and another annotation with LayerA and LayerB, i.e. common… You would then only have to share the desired layer, so that your groupB only gets those annotations associated with LayerB etc.
An annotation could be associated with no layer at all and hence be “protected”.

Solution 2: tags

It might be my personal problem, I’ve never understood the use of tags when we already had collections… Anyway, since tags are already in place for individual annotations, the ability to share tags might be all it takes to have an implementation of this feature… You would only have to tag GroupA here, GroupB there and there, and sharing “tag GroupB” would not display those GroupA tags.

Thank you @Pascalio for your thoughtful message

We are very aware of the problem you describe. The current way of sharing was just a prototype and we already have specced out how the UX that solves your problem I think. The way I designed it is like your layer system.

If you like, we can hop on a call together and brainstorm if that solves your issues.
Would love to understand if the designs I had in mind will solve your problems.

If you like, pick a time(frame) of your choosing here. I think 30-60min are a good frame?

Have a good day!