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November 05, 2009

Write to Reply

I've noted before how much I like the Write to Reply service, conceived and developed by Tony Hirst and Joss Winn:

A site for commenting on public reports in considerable detail. Texts are broken down into their respective sections for easier consumption. Rather than comment on the text as a whole, you are encouraged to direct comments to specific paragraphs.

On that basis, I am very pleased to announce that we have made available a small amount of funding for the service, initially covering the website hosting costs for the next 6 months but with a commitment to do so in some form for 2 years (whether that be through a continuation of the current hosting arrangement or by moving the content to Eduserv servers or elsewhere).

It strikes me that Write to Reply has already demonstrated its value in various fields, notably in the areas of education and government policy, and I'm sure it will continue to do so. It's one of those ideas that is rather simple and obvious in hindsight, yet very powerful in practice - give people a public space in which they can make comments on important documents and make it social enough that commenting feels more like having a conversation than simply annotating a text.  Good stuff.  Long may it continue.

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