And, Welcome to Footnotey (brought to you by Newspanion)

According to Wikipedia, information was formerly conveyed through a complicated system of committing ink to thin sheets of processed wood pulp. At the time, the accepted method for sharing one’s reaction to news was to artfully spray one’s coffee onto the newspaper in question and hope a carrier pigeon delivered it swiftly from whence it came.

And then the 90’s happened.

The daring experiment to allow everyday media consumers to share their opinions online through comments has been a rousing success. We often forget that a two-way relationship between reader and publisher was a bit of a revolution. Spoiler Alert! We won.

But like a bad day at Burning Man, things have gotten a little out of control. Comments have, in many cases, become:

Redundant. Out of context. Unfiltered. Overwhelming. Totally redundant.

We’re on a journey to fix these problems and more. Footnotey is a new commenting system that first and foremost helps readers add context to their comments, via highlighting in the article.

Also, copying and pasting is for newbs. We’ll make sure you can highlight some text, slap your thoughts on it, and share the whole thing seamlessly with friends on Facebook, Twitter, or email.

You can help by highlighting one of the characteristics above -- or any other text on this page -- and leaving us a comment of your own.

Go ahead!

Tell us why you do or do not leave a comment when you see “2,342 Comments” on a Huffington Post article. Tell us what’s missing from your online experience and how you and everyone else can be a better commenter.

Thanks for stopping by!


In any of the paragraphs above, and even in this one, you can select text like you normally would for copying and pasting purposes. But, lo! With Footnotey, you only need to highlight. The text you grab will appear at the top of the commenting app.

Once you have highlighted, you can leave a comment. Your comment will remain attached to the text you highlighted, so that when other people click on your comment later, they will see exactly what you were referring to.

The total number of comments associated with a given section of the article is shown in a blue comment marker. These bubbles give you a quick visual of which sections of an article people are talking about most. Click on them to see the comments that go with that section, and click each comment to see what text, if any, the person highlighted to add context to that comment.

What you’re looking at is a proof of concept. We have dozens of ideas and are working on implementing them. If you’d like to give us feedback – recent studies indicate that a majority of cool kids are giving feedback these days – then feel free to do so right here on the page!

To contact us directly, you can also e-mail us at hello [at] newspanion [dot] com.


This is no longer functional; I apologize. Users used to be able to write and leave comments, which would then be readable in this side-panel. Comments were also attributed to particular paragraphs of the page. When I migrated the code, stuff broke, and time has elapsed, so old libraries are no longer working. I have not made the effort to get the prototype working again; however, enough time has also passed that you can now see this type of commenting system on websites like Medium.