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December 14, 2007

Annotating the Web with Google Toolbar

The latest version of Google Toolbar integrated Google Notebook, the service that allows you to save interesting parts from a web page for later. Google also started to highlight the fragments from a web page that were previously saved and show your comments in a tooltip.

As you probably know, notebooks are by default private, but you can invite some of your contacts to collaborate. This way you can create a shared list of bookmarks with annotations that allow you find the most important parts of a web page and read your collaborators' opinions. Your annotations are highlighted with a different nuance of yellow so you can distinguish them from those added by your contacts.

For now, you can't export the annotations or subscribe to someone's public annotations, but it's not hard to see these features added in the next iterations of Google Toolbar. Trailfire already lets you find trails, "collections of web pages, assembled and annotated by any Trailfire member". The collections of notes could be used to guide people to the most important parts of a Google search result or they could become a part of a dynamically-built encyclopedia page.

The current implementation from Google Toolbar provides you with a simple way to share clips from web pages with your friends and also add comments.


  1. Please continue to mention that this new functionality is only available for IE users (until that is no longer the case anyway). I'm looking forward to getting that Notebook icon off my status bar and onto the Google toolbar where it belongs, but so far that doesn't work on my Linux or Apple machines. I live (happily) in a Windows-free zone.

  2. A little late in the game but those who are using notebook already should be happy. I like Diigo toolbar which also combines bookmarking and annotation in one single toolbar. I wish I could migrate everything under one login some day.

  3. works extremely well for this..

    i use it over google

  4. if i didnt use already
    , i might be interested, but toread works perfect for me.

  5. Thumbs up for Diigo too.