I'd like to invite members of the Mark Twain Forum
to explore a new way of discussing Twain on
the web with a new, free discussion tool that
makes it possible for any number of people to
engage in a discussion of a particular word or
sentence or paragraph of any online Twain text.
I have just created a Mark Twain discussion
group on Reframe It, a technology launched last
week (there are links to some articles that
describe Reframe It in detail pasted below. The
truth-in-advertising department requires me to
note that the technology was my son's idea & he
helped develop it.)
Step (1) Go to http://reframeit.com using either Firefox
or Internet Explorer (Firefox is slightly preferable at
this point, but both work). (Or go to
http://reframeit.com/groups/search?category=%2Fgroups%2Fsearch&q=mark+twain&x=0&y=0 to see the Twain discussion group)
Step (2) download the free extension on your computer and join "Reframe It."
Now you're ready to go.
Click on "Groups." Put "Mark Twain" in the
search box. You'll get to the Mark Twain
discussion group. Mouse over the far-right
little orange icon. It will say "Join this
Group." Click on it.
Now go to any Twain text on the web or any web
page that you want to relate to Twain, highlight
the line or paragraph you want to comment on, or
ask a question about, and then post your comment
or query in the adjustable margin that will
appear on the right of your screen. (At this
point anything in html works--which is basically
any web page--but not pdfs yet).
Your comment will be visible to anyone else who
has downloaded Reframe It and who goes to the web
page that you're commenting on. (When the
"share your comment" option comes up, the Twain
group will come up, as well. Check that box and
your comment automatically get's routed to anyone
in the Twain discussion group.) You are also
welcome to respond to other people's comments on
a particular page, as well.
I posted a query/comment about an intriguing
resemblance between a line of a Dunbar poem and
a line from Roughing It. Also another about
"Running for Governor." A full list of all the
comments in the Twain discussion group will
appear on the main Reframe It web site when you
go to the Twain group. (The site gives you
various ways of following what's been posted in
the Twain discussion group. It's very intuitive
and easy to use.)
If any of you would like to use Reframe It for a
class (not necessarily on Twain) you can create
a "private" group for your class (only people
whom you authorize to post to that group may
post comments or read what has been posted ). Or
you could create "restricted" group for your
class (only people whom whom you authorize to
post to that group may post comments, but the
comments will be visible to the public.)
And, of course, if you're interested in other
things besides Twain---just annotating web pages
you find interesting, or infuriating, or helpful,
or whatever, once you've downloaded Reframe It,
you can do all of that on other topics, as well.
(You'll find it's quite addictive). (A feature
that I've found useful, as well, is using it for
my own note-taking: create a private group of
one--just you--and any time you find a web page
with useful information on it for your research,
highlight a line or section of it, post a little
note to yourself in the margin, and when you go
to your little one-person 'group,' you'll see
links to all the web pages that you marked as
useful. Grad students are finding this quite
useful, as well.)
As you'll see many of the comments on the site so
far relate to politics and environmental issues.
But there's no reason why we can't use it for
discussions about literature. Anyway, feel free
to get the ball rolling. Twain is ideal for this
since so many key texts are online.
P.S. If you've written a book and would like to
be invited to comment as a 'Noted Authority,'
email me the title of the book you'd like to
feature & I'd be glad to arrange for you to get
such an invitation. A link to your book on Amazon
will automatically appear under your name
whenever you post a comment.
stories from in the media last week on Reframe It:
"Clearly, the service could be a huge boon for
teachers trying to stir class discussion, but
also seems streamlined enough to steal
recreational web surfers from less organized
annotation and social bookmarking apps."
"With a low learning curve and a strong focus on
annotation, research, and a clean UI, Reframe It
is a great option for groups and small businesses
to collaborate when researching the web." Ars
"ReframeIt represents one of the better
implementations of social annotations we have
seen so far." -Readwriteweb
"Pretty remarkableŠ. Reframe It is a commendable
piece of work. You'll need a few
minutes to familiarize yourself with it, and
you'll have to appreciate the way it lives within
Firefox and IE. But once you do, its value
becomes quite clear and in fact grows the more it
is used" -- Mashable
>>"Reframe It-- My #1 cool tool for 2008"
"Reframe It could be a good tool for
students that are working on a collaborative
research project. By using the Reframe It
extension students can discuss the merits
of the things they find. Students can also use
Reframe It to discuss how they are going
to use the resources they find on the
Internet. Reframe It could also be useful for
teachers conducting online courses. With the
browser extension installed
conversations about an article or other digital
resource can be conducted while everyone is
the same resource."
"Reframe It 'Talmudifies' the Web"