Populating the Database
August 30, 2019
So reddit might just be the place to find some users. I have one interested person that came out of my r/shakespeare post. It is hard for me to expect people to annotate if I don’t, so I’ve been annotating myself somewhat. I’ve added about 20. I want to add more.
I added a new tag, speculation, for when an annotation is warranted but there is no proof for the assertion.
As I’ve said time and time again, I do not know where users will want to go with the way the culture operates because I have no users yet.
I’m planning on posting to r/books tomorrow. They expect you to have previous interaction with the community. So I went on a posting spree and now I’m up to 312 points pretty much just from r/books. It was surprisingly easy. They are friendly folks. This also means that when my first month is up on Reddit I’ll be able to create an annowiki subreddit.
I also am planning on posting to Show HN tomorrow on Hacker News. We’ll see if it gets upvoted. I’ll try again if it doesn’t. It sounds like HN Hug of Death is nowhere near as severe as I anticipated.
It seems my Google SEO is not so bad. If you search for “Hamlet anno”, for instance, you’ll get me as the third result. “anno wiki” still puts me on the second page, but hopefully that will change. Don’t know how to do a sitemap, but will figure it out.
Finally, I’m going to start adding some books. This is a list of stuff I’m interested in adding in no particular order:
- Geneva Bible
- Book of Common Prayer
- Keats, Byron, Shelley, Wordsworth
- Jane Austen
- John Milton
- Song of Roland
- Eugene O’Neill
- Tennessee Williams
- Fredrick Douglass
- Uncle Tom’s Cabin
- Henry James
- Jonathan Edwards
- Tao Te Ching
- JS Mill
That’s it for now.
Launch in Earnest
August 30, 2019
Been a while. Sorry about that. Wanted a break after a year of anno.wiki. Decided learning French would be the route. Still learning. I’m reading Harry Potter et le Prisonnier d’Azkaban. But I wanted to get back to this.
I opened up registration. I decided I don’t have enough friends for a beta, and it seems that random strangers are not actually interested in beta testing some random dude’s app. Even if it is totally awesome.
Right now I’m trying to find people interested in annotating. This app won’t be useful until there are annotators. Whenever I’ve explained the concept to people, they’ve always wondered if there would be people interested in reading the annotations. I have always said I’m not worried at all about lurkers or readers, I’m worried about writers. Are there enough people as crazy as me to want to annotate classic literature? Judging by the number of annotated editions of literature in existence, I would bet yes. But they were paid, and I don’t have money. So this is still a worry.
I listened to a talk by Jimmy Wales once where he described expecting nothing from Wikipedia, that it would be DOA when it was born, and then being shocked by hundreds of articles when he looked at it a couple weeks later. The Internet was quite different in 2001. There were Usenet boards and BBS’s where someone making something interesting could go and show it to people who would be interested in joining. Now everyone’s siloed in Facebook, Reddit, or Twitter, and the idea that you can just post in a Reddit like r/literature is a joke. I messaged the mods, they thanked me for messaging before posting and then told me, kindly, to get lost.
I posted to r/shakespeare, but that didn’t go very far. Thank you for the praise, all you kindly r/shakespeare readers, but nobody seemed interested enough to contribute. I’ve though that, perhaps, in my fear of being perceived as a promoter (which I am), I would have the thread deleted, so I focused on my story and made it only incidentally about anno.wiki. The result is a little wordy. Let’s not kid ourselves, it’s a wall of text. I’ll post there again in a month and make it more blatantly promotional.
I emailed Jimmy Wales and Wikimedia. They pointed me to the Village Pump, where I posted yesterday asking for advice. No luck so far. That might take a couple of days. In all likelihood, though, no one will respond.
I emailed an old college buddy of mine. We’ll see how far that gets.
The two next possibilities, that I’m holding off on because they seem drastic, are to, (1), email every professor from here to the West Coast (and in the UK as well) who might be interested in classical literature, and (2), post to Hacker News.
But I don’t like those options. The first because I don’t like being a spamming whore. The second because I don’t want an HN Hug of Death from a community that might only be somewhat interested in literature, and from which maybe only one in every millionth hit will be someone interested in contributing. The result would be expensive with little payoff, in my mind. Plus I don’t have an account with rep.
Basically, I’m starting to get a little discouraged. This blog is essentially a personal diary now, because I know no one is reading it. I am 100% convinced in the value of my project. I just wish I had a network of people to connect to it. If I were still in college I bet this would be easy.
Fixing a few bugs
June 3, 2019
This place is a ghost town. But only for now. I am almost done fixing the minor tweaks before I start inviting beta users.
The bottom links are no longer dead. I have set up this blog (obviously) and created static pages for Terms, Contact, and About on this annowiki.blog. I don’t see any reason to use anno.wiki to create thouse.
I have created a twitter but haven’t started using it yet. I will be creating a Mastadon, Facebook, and god knows what else.
I have the indexing system under control. There is one minor tweak I need to make to annotation edits in the back end (a database adjustment) which will be the first database migration I will ever do live. I want to do it before I start inviting people. It will consolidate a lot of gains I made two weeks ago before I launched.
I also still need to fix the stylistic flubs.
All this will be done in the next week. Then I will invite more users.
May 29, 2019
anno.wiki is now live!
It is currently in beta mode, which means registration is only possible with a magic link I can send out. I will start inviting more people as I get more of the baubles done.
For instance, the bottom links, one of which links here, are still mostly dead. This has to change.
I created the twitter in the course of making this blog, but haven’t done anything on it yet. Unsure if I want to create a Mastadon and/or a Facebook. I am more inclined toward Mastadon.
I have gotten the email system working.
I am still indexing lines. Holy cow is that slow. Turns out there’s a bulk_index function to do what I’m doing but I totally am already ¾ of the way through indexing so it’s a little late for that.
There are still some styling flubs in the pages. Especially for mobile. Verse gets concatenated the same as everything and, even worse, when everything gets concatenated on mobile, the paragraph separations disappear.
I have to set up ssl for the main url, anno.wiki. For now that means secure connections are only available via annowiki.herokuapp.com. That won’t be for long.
I got annowiki.blog to point to /docs in the text-processing repo, but now I have to try to set that up with this annowikiblog repo.
So this first post is a breathless one. Somewhat of a Mission Accomplished moment. Because anno.wiki is far from live.