Reframe It will change the way Web pages are viewed and used
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San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) October 8, 2008
Reframe It, Inc. today announces the launch of Reframe It, a revolutionary Web application that makes writing in the margins of the Web as easy as writing in the margins of a book. Reframe It Inc.'s patent-pending technology allows users to directly comment on the content of any Web page, without the permission of the site. Reframe It facilitates mass public discussion on the Web by permitting thousands of easy-to-organize comments to be placed next to any of more than 30 billion Web pages. These comments are placed directly next to the words, sentences, paragraphs or images to which they refer.
By providing a means for third parties to add commentary onto Web sites, Reframe It creates a "transparency engine" for the Internet. "Reframe It can help curb the power of misinformation to distort our national conversation about issues that matter. Anyone who cares about the quality of public dialogue in this country should welcome the transparency it makes possible," notes Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute and co-founder of The Root.
Once users download the free Firefox or Internet Explorer Reframe It browser extension at http://www.reframeit.com, an adjustable Reframe It margin appears on the right-hand side of the screen. This extension allows users to highlight any content -- words, sentences, paragraphs or images -- to which they'd like to respond with a comment. Comments appear on a separate, coordinated Web page that does not alter the content of the page that is being commented on.
"This important initiative will provide a new focus for the on-going effort to create a more deliberative form of American democracy," said Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor of Law and Poltiical Science, Yale University
Reframe It is the ideal information-sharing tool for educational, organizational, corporate, and personal leisure purposes. Teachers can have a class read an online text and post comments and responses alongside specific sentences or paragraphs in the text. Teachers in different communities around the country or around the world can use Reframe It to have their students engage in virtual conversations with other classes reading the same texts. When members of a professional association come across articles that have bearing on important issues in their field, they can use Reframe It to share comments in context among colleagues. When a corporation needs to collect information on competing products, employees can use Reframe It to annotate the websites of competitors. Parents who want to keep the conversation going with their children in college can create a private family group on Reframe It where they can share and discuss interesting articles they come across online.
"Reframe It will change the way Web pages are viewed and used," says Bobby Fishkin, CEO of Reframe It Inc. "We're thrilled to bring to market a powerful tool to help raise the discourse and promote discussion online. From helping citizens gain insight into difficult policy-related text, to helping friends share stories about their favorite online content, the uses of Reframe It are endless. The tool can channel dissatisfaction into constructive discussions about alternatives."
"Your responsibility does not end with complaining. Suggest something better!" says Esther Dyson, former chair of the ICANN Board, chair of EDventure Holdings, and board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Groups may be public, restricted or private, and users may set their filters to see comments only from a particular group at any given time. By creating and joining Reframe It discussion Groups, users can set up public or private discussions depending on how broad the discussion leader wishes the conversation to be. Reframe It will be launching with groups of users from communities such as Green Options, Always On & http://www.e-thepeople.org to discuss environmental, technology and political news in context.
Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs and visionary chronicler of new forms of collaboration on the internet says: "The best antidote to the unreliability of information on the Web is a way to share opinions about that information -- only one of the important capabilities that Reframe It provides. Seeing what people you trust have to say about a Web page, together with the capability to debate, discuss, and provide references, supportive or contradictory evidence, makes it possible for accuracy and reliability of online material to be verified or questioned socially. The kind of discourse that scholars have about texts through peer reviewed journals and face-to-face conferences is another capability. Just as the Web transformed the Internet, Reframe It has the potential to add a layer of richness to existing technology that doesn't presently exist."
With features such as Comment Sharing, Noted Authorities and Group Creation, Reframe It empowers people to share knowledge in unprecedented ways. Reframe It has a non-extension "i-frame" viewer which lets any site link to comments that can be instantly viewed by users who wish to preview comments in context before downloading the extension (which lets users read and write comments). Reframe It encourages discussion and makes it easy for users to access, organize, and share comments made in the margins of the Web. Users may choose to filter comments by any criteria they prefer. All comments are also completely searchable.
Users can also benefit from the perspectives of experts in fields that interest them by viewing (and filtering) comments by Noted Authorities who have written books or blogs on a particular topic and are participating in Reframe It discussions.
Reframe It promotes transparency by providing a platform for Internet users to rebut false claims where those claims are made online, whether by politicians, pundits, or financial institutions, "Until now, there has never been a tool for putting the Web in context," says Reframe It, CEO Bobby Fishkin. "It has not been easy to challenge information on the Web directly. But Reframe It offers an unprecedented amount of freedom to users to do just that, without needing the permission of any third party sites. As we go live, we would like to invite others to join in on our mission of bringing information transparency to the Web."
About Reframe It:
Bobby Fishkin came up with idea for Reframe It after spending four years tracking down and examining what Tolstoy, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Coleridge, C.S. Lewis, Melville and others hand-wrote in the margins of their personal copies of Shakespeare. It was clear to him that the position of their comments -- right next to the passage to which they were responding--was key to how these writers engaged these texts. Fishkin, along with co-founders Chief Technology Officer Brian McKinney and Lead Engineer Benjamin Taitelbaum, created Reframe It to make the same relationships between commentary and text possible for the entire Web. Reframe It's Advisory Board includes Esther Dyson, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Howard Rheingold. Reframe It Inc is privately held and based in San Francisco, CA. The Reframe It browser extension can be downloaded for free at http://reframeit.com.