Footnote.com launched today. This new service, created by Hypergene — a great source for those interested in the future of journalism — enables citizens to view public documents online and offer annotations and discussions. They are partnering with the National Archives to make 4.5 million documents available, but the service is not limited to existing public documents — upload your grandfather’s journals, for example:
Footnote began with two simple ideas:
First, what if any document, photograph or image could be the catalyst for conversations and linked to anything?
On the web, there is plenty of conjecture but often scant evidence. Footnote hopes to encourage exploration, discovery and, of course, discussions by providing the tools to access real documents. That way people can begin to engage in more interesting and productive debates.