When DotSpots first demo’d live on stage at TechCrunch50 last year (see their presentation here), Google VP Marissa Mayer said of the product: “It’s a really beautiful idea and I really like anything that pushes the Web forward in that way.”
The service lets users annotate any part of a web page, from a single quote to the entire page, leave a comment and socialize it with friends. It’s like commenting on just a paragraph from a story or page instead of the whole thing, and users can add rich media to their comments as well. From our post on their demo:
DotSpots is an annotation platform that allows users to add text or video comments to any piece of text on the web. Dotspots searches through millions of online news articles, indexing paragraphs of text and using an algorithm to determine when certain passages appear multiple times across different sites.
User comments are presented in each post as unintrusive (but readily visible) bubbles, which expand to reveal the text or video that has been added. Because the site has indexed content across the web, it can append these comments to any article reprints, such as an AP article that has been syndicated across thousands of publications.
There is also an overview video below – users can access the service via a browser plugin, and soon you’ll see publishers implement it directly on their sites. Thousands of people have been waiting a year to get in and use the service, but today TechCrunch readers can jump to the front of the line. The first 500 people to sign up at this link should get in immediately. And if you’re too late, don’t worry. The service should launch publicly soon.