Get Started

Create an Annotum Site On WordPress.com

  1. Go to en.wordpress.com/signup and create a new WordPress site.
  2. In your site’s dashboard, navigate to the “Appearance > Themes” page.
  3. Search for the “Annotum” theme, and activate.

Create a self-hosted Annotum Site (on your own server)

  1. Follow your hosting service’s instructions for setting up WordPress.
  2. In your site’s dashboard, navigate to the “Appearance > Themes > Install Themes ” page.
  3. Search for the “Annotum” theme, and activate.

For advanced options, including a way to install a stand-alone version of Annotum on your Windows or Mac computer, please visit the  Annotum Technical wiki

For more information about using Annotum, please see the Annotum Support Page on Annotum.org.

EDIT February 2013: As of October 1, 2012, Knol content is no longer available. It is therefore not possible to follow the steps below.

Knol users: to get started, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to knol.google.com and log in with your Google account
  2. You’ll see a link to “Export” or “Download” your knols.
    • To Export your knols to WordPress.com, click the link, provide a new or existing WordPress.com username  and password, name your new journal, and follow the simple prompts. You may need to provide your knol username and password to complete the download.
    • To Download your knols, click the link and follow the prompts to export your Knol data. You’ll need to set up your own WordPress installation to host Annotum, then import your Knols.
    • Note: If your knols have multiple authors, you’ll need to map those authors to WordPress.com users, or you can add those users to your journal later.
    • For more information about using Annotum, please see the Annotum Support Page on Annotum.org.
  3. After you download or export your knols, you can to set redirects on knol.google.com for each knol to let your readers know where to find your new content.

Here are some posts about the launch:

  1. Crowd Favorite Announcement
  2. Google Announcement

Annotum is a product of Solvitor LLC with heavy lifting by Crowd Favorite

Annotum is free (speech and beer)

32 Comments

Comments RSS
  1. Bob Jenkins

    I don’t see the link to export the knol…just the one to download. I don’t get it,

  2. davidalman

    What a terrible mess.

    I’ve transferred my Knols across to Annotum, and lost all images on some articles when I made some typographic amendments to reset changes resulting from the conversion. The support people seem nice but it’s been weeks since I reported the problem and I don’t know when this will be fixed.

    Also I’ve lost a Google link across to my Annotum article, so when you search the web, it goes to the Knol but not onto the article now in Annotum. This what you get at the Knol http://knol.google.com/k/organizational-health and this is the article at Annotum http://proventivesolutions.wordpress.com/article/organizational-health-11ytsa5mr372d-14/

    So frustrating.

  3. davidalman

    My concern over what has happened in the transfer of my Google Knol articles to Annotum, not only questions in my mind the readiness of WordPress to undertake a successful and seamless transfer using Annotum, but also my confidence in Google products in general.

    To have a product like Google Knol extinguished along with its thousands of articles, with the awkwardness I’ve experienced in transferring my articles to another site, makes me wonder what happens if Google decide to drop another product like Blogger, or Google Docs. Can I trust Google products or am I safer to use Microsoft and other websites, may not be said but the doubt has occurred to me now. This has been a bad experience. How long do I have to wait for support to work it out?

  4. annotum

    David, I understand your concerns. For what it’s worth, Google did spend quite a bit of time, effort, and money to make this transition as seamless as possible, although in some cases the transfer fell short. While many thousands if not tens of thousands of people were able to transfer content to WordPress and to other sites, some people had difficulties. That’s unfortunate, but it’s also the case that the service was always free, the transfer is free, and it continues to be free to host content on WordPress.com.

    At the end of the day, even if the automated transfer has had its share of problems, Google’s takeout feature has let anyone get every last bit of their content, including graphics, in a complete ZIP archive file.

    I think the question of whether other products or services will go on or be dropped is a legitimate one, but I also think that the idea that Google will simply “drop” Google Docs is pretty unlikely. And I’m quite sure that if they did decide to close another service or product, you’d be able to get your content out.

    As to the use of alternatives such as Microsoft, it was Microsoft’s decision to migrate its own blog platform, Windows Live Spaces, to WordPress.com, and the relatively seamless process there that suggested this approach for Knol.

    In any case, we’ve already contacted you via the Annotum support site on UserVoice, so please feel free to follow up there with any additional support questions.

  5. davidalman

    Thank you for your reply.

    As I understand what has happened, and as I also interpret Annotum Support advice to me. It’s mess up.

    > Annotum articles cannot cope with the images within my Google Knol articles it seems. Hence their disappearance. The recommendation is to convert them to posts (blogs). So from my point of view a recommendation to transfer Google Knol articles was made with a built in inherent problem. This is not being fixed by Annotum, I’ve got to do more work and reconvert articles to posts.

    > It took months to give me this advice (since March), meanwhile my articles are messed up for viewers (and still are).

    > On conversion one article’s transfer URL at Google Knol did not take effect and I lost its URL position (SEO) on search engines. That’s just too bad now, tough luck!

    In this I have to struggle with the question is it me, and my lack of understanding of a new site (WordPress) in representing my material and of transfer issues. In this I know that that is true.

    I just feel this has not been an easy ride, no matter the best intentions and efforts of Google and WordPress. And I don’t feel appreciative of what I’ve gone though to date.

    Appreciate your time in considering my disappointments.

  6. Mito

    Hi,

    Is there somebody who may answer questions related to annotum, or this project is already dead?
    I would like to know how to remove the “Author” line in each post.
    This is a “ugly “appearance; long line and bold and italic style!
    At least, offer the possibility to remove it easily or make it customizable, please!

    Than you

    • Annotum

      Firstly, the project is not Dead!! However, you’ll get a faster response if you use one of the support options rather than submitting comments.

      The easiest way to hide any content is to modify the CSS to set that particular element to “display: none”, either by modifying the main.css file (in the /assets folder) or, on a WordPress.com-hosted site, by purchasing the Custom CSS Option.

      Hope this helps!

  7. davidalman

    So for simple, sensible, adjustments to our articles and blogs in Annotum it seems we have to pay. Not only that but start to learn HTML. The Custom CSS option.

    I’ve asked Support Options why on transferred blogs (from Blogger) spacing between sentences cannot be made (they are shown in edit mode but crunch together on publishing). The answer – buy Custom CSS.

    My conclusion out of all of this is that transferring articles and blogs into WordPress brings with it some special issues that remain unaddressed.

    At this point in time I think I’m left with the option of cleaning all copies of Knols and blogs and reloading the lot from my computer along with associated images. I really don’t want to be turned into some quasi IT person. One way or other there’s days of work ahead just to get back to where things were in January (less of course Search Engine positioning).

    Then we have Mito’s concerns over Annotum’s appearance. And I agree that the “author” line is ugly and looks like an unnecessary intrusion. For copyright purposes on articles I think referencing authors is appropriate so will have a look in the assets folder and consider turning off the “display” and typing in authorship by hand.

    This remains a difficult transition and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of Annotum/WordPress and how best to use this site is still something to be worked through.

    With other workload issues, it may take many months before I can get around to getting this Annotum site in order. Lots to understand.

    • annotum

      @davidalman, you’ve made quite a few points here and they deserve a response.

      So for simple, sensible, adjustments to our articles and blogs in Annotum it seems we have to pay. Not only that but start to learn HTML. The Custom CSS option.

      Actually, there are nearly 200 themes available on WordPress.com, each of which offers a different set of styles including many variations of paragraph spacing. Some themes (about 36 of them) do cost money, but the rest are completely free. True, if you want full control over the styles and formatting you need to customize your CSS which does require a fee (on WordPress.com only – this is free if you host your own site) and some CSS skills. But to be completely fair, Knol did not allow you to adjust the paragraph spacing per se — you could put in extra line breaks in some cases but certainly you didn’t even have the option of altering the CSS for any price.

      I’ve asked Support Options why on transferred blogs (from Blogger) spacing between sentences cannot be made (they are shown in edit mode but crunch together on publishing). The answer – buy Custom CSS.

      That’s more a comment on WordPress’s feature set than on Annotum’s, so I won’t really comment, except to say the Blogger-to-Annotum use case was not considered in the Annotum and Knol-Annotum requirements. There is of course a relatively easy way to convert migrated Knol content to Blogger, via the “convert to post” button and the standard WordPress export. And you always have the option of exporting your Knol content to HTML.

      I really don’t want to be turned into some quasi IT person. One way or other there’s days of work ahead just to get back to where things were in January

      If you’re looking for ways to post content on the web without becoming a “quasi IT person”, you have many, many choices: Blogger, Weebly, Tumblr, Squarespace, and others. Some charge, and some are free — but in almost every case, the “free” services charge for extra features. You’ll notice that for better or worse, Google decided to shut down knol. I’m not privy to any inside information on that decision (I just helped them implement an exit strategy for users), but that must have meant that they decided it was not meeting their business needs. Knol was not a charity, nor is WordPress.com or any of the other services I just mentioned. So getting “back to where things were in January” is a bit like saying you’d like to post your site on AngelFire or another defunct web hosting service — you can’t go back there. Luckily, there are many options from which to choose, most of which have at least a partial free version.

      Then we have Mito’s concerns over Annotum’s appearance. And I agree that the “author” line is ugly and looks like an unnecessary intrusion.

      Sorry you don’t like the look of the theme. Please feel free to choose one of the other 195 WordPress.com themes, or set up your own site using the open source software from WordPress.org and choose from many thousands of themes.

      This remains a difficult transition and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of Annotum/WordPress and how best to use this site is still something to be worked through.

      Again, I’m truly sorry that you’re having troubles with the transition, but there are limitations in any transition like this, particularly one with hundreds of thousands of users and millions of pages of content. I personally think that the WordPress platform (.com and .org) is one of the best and most capable content management systems available, and, given that some 73 million sites run WordPress in one form or another, and that over 70,000 people have downloaded Annotum, at least a few people agree that Annotum and/or WordPress are useful and usable tools.

      In any case, we hate to see any users left unsatisfied, so as always please feel free to post any specific questions to the support site.

      Thanks for your comments and have a pleasant weekend.

      -Carl

      • blahblah

        It is damn ugly.

      • Solvitor

        Thanks Dina for your comment. I would respectfully disagree that the Annotum theme is “damn ugly” — personally I think it looks very clean and fresh, and is easy to read and browse. However everyone is entitled to an opinion.

  8. davidalman

    Carl,
    The point is that Google chose, and recommended Annotum and in good faith I and I’m sure many others trusted that recommendation. So saying perhaps there may be a better site elsewhere or a Theme that offers what I seek I think is not helpful.

    I don’t think it unreasonable for text that is shown in a consistent typeface in Google Knol to be reflected in the same condition in Annotum. But maybe not. I would expect it occurred as a result of uploading text into a Knol from Microsoft Word, and subsequent editing within the Knol and the difference not “cleaned” up on transfer. That and the problems over retaining images within the articles when typographic changes are made, in effect, means starting all over again by uploading directly from my computer. No matter where I go.

    It’s this that I refer to about getting back to January in Google Knol. It’s all the work starting from scratch, uploading the lot, as if a transfer didn’t happen. Days of work.

    Again, the standard conversion tool on Annotum was used to import Blogger blogs. All I seek is to “break a line”, so sentences that had a break between them in Blogger are similarly reflected in Annotum. I don’t know why I can’t, and again if it means going to Custom CSS the option seems to be to completely upload blog texts from the computer or deleting and placing a link to Blogger.

    This issue, I think, raises a question over how to use Annotum: As a base to cross reference slides, blogs, and articles elsewhere, or as a collated publishing centre, or something in between. This is something I will have to work though after more time with Annotum, and my current issues are helping me firm up my views. As a straight upload of articles and blogs into Annotum, it may be quite resilient.

    Then there is its position with search engines to be explored.

    As for the Author line that Mito raises, your recommendation indicates I can loose it and replace it in a different way without moving to another Theme. That’s fine by me.

    My concern with your response about looking at other websites and themes is that it continues to leave matters unresolved, worse. Starting over again and understanding differences those sites have. The plethora of themes WordPress offers simply makes it difficult to work out appearance issues with formatting capability. I really don’t want to add to my current task resulting from the closure of Google Knol in terms of getting the articles up online.

  9. Mito

    Thanks for the answer.
    Sorry, I’m just getting started with wordpress and annotum.
    I’m just taking a look to make a decision later, depending on the facility, advantage/disadvantage, support quality…etc.
    By the way, since annotum is an open source, how to remove/modify the link “About Annotum” in the footer? This is especially for security concerns,as hackers that know which tool is used, they may exploit it.

    Thanks

  10. Dean

    Hey, thanks for the howto steps.

    Regards

  11. andytgeezer

    I’ve been using Annotum for a while and I think a recent update may have knocked formatting out a little. I’ve noticed that my paragraphs are no longer being published, so getting one long block of text. I’ve deactivated the theme and gone back to Twenty Twelve and all paragraphs are restored. Is this something others have noticed?

      • andytgeezer

        Thanks for the quick response Solvitor. Our site is at http://blogs4learning.com/

        The issue is only recent. Before it was fine. Has there been an update or something? I shall use the Uservoice site in future for queries of this nature, thanks for pointing it out

  12. Solvitor

    Andy, is your site hosted on your own? There have been some fixes on WordPress.com in the last day or so, but they should not have affected a self-hosted (.org) site. You can download the latest version of .org Annotum via Github here: https://github.com/Annotum/Annotum/downloads which does contain a fix for stripped newlines in POSTS (not Articles).

  13. meteo

    This is just to let you know that, at the moment, it appears that it is not possible to use Annotum for a new registered non-self-hosted wordpress site (i.e. a new blog at wordpress.com). I could use it for my older blogs, but can’t use it for a new registered one

    • annotum

      Thanks for the heads-up. There were some changes on the WordPress.com side that will require some fixes. What I see currently is that you can find and select an Annotum theme as long as you are logged in with an account that “owns” at least one Annotum blog. I’ve submitted a request to have the WordPress.com folks look into this.

  14. Panos

    So people who create a new blog on wordpress.com cannot have an Annotum blog?

    • annotum

      There was an issue with being able to find or select the Annotum theme on WordPress.com, but this should be resolved now. Thanks for your patience!

  15. Andrew Lian

    I do own an older blog on wordpress.com running an annotum theme (not sure if that means I own an annotum blog) but still cannot access the theme after creating a new blog using the same account.

    So… I would also like to know… I am running the latest annotum? If not how do I update? I seem to have lost the update facility (I am very rusty with wordpress and hardly use it).

    Andrew

    • annotum

      This should be fixed now (theme availability on WordPress.com). The latest released and tested version of Annotum for self-hosted WordPress sites is always available via the download page; the WordPress.com version gets updates less frequently.

  16. Hitch

    So…this is, what? A pseudo-wiki theme for a WordPress site, so you put your Knol articles on a worpress site, on your own domain? Why would anyone bother to do that? The Knol advantage was that all the articles were together, like Wikipedia or other content-gathering sites. What’s the big deal about setting up JAB (Just Another Blog)? Why bother? Why not just post our articles on our own sites? Or just put regular Wiki software on our own sites, or LaTEX authored work? Sorry…but I don’t “get it.” There were tens of thousands of Knol articles now lost to us, and that didn’t need “special software” to be indexed. Telling people that a “special theme” has been created to run on a WordPress.org CMS just seems…well, silly. I run an EE CMS, and I certainly don’t have any intention of putting a WordPress CMS on there, as well, just to post an article as a “faux-Knol” article. As yet, nothing I’ve read here seems to indicate the WHY of it. What’s the point?

    • annotum

      Annotum came about because Google wanted to provide a home for knol users in the wake of knol’s discontinuance. There were a few use cases to be considered:

      • People who just wanted their content could use Google takeout to obtain a zip file with their content and attachments
      • People who wanted a way to host their content for free and a (relatively) seamless way to migrate their knols there could use the knol->WordPress.com migration tool to move their content to Annotum on WordPress. Those who didn’t like the Annotum theme could convert their articles to posts and choose any theme.
      • People who wanted a lightweight peer-review workflow and some scholarly publishing features could migrate to WordPress.com or to a self-hosted WordPress site; the self-hosted version of Annotum has some additional features (PDF export) and is updated more frequently.
      • Finally, people who wanted to use Blogger or another CMS could export to WordPress WXR format and import wherever they like.

      The bottom line is, as nice as knol was, it was discontinued. Annotum (and the other options above) are simply that – options for taking and or migrating your content to another location. The alternative would have been to simply shut down knol and not provide migration or export options, and Google (wisely in my view but I am biased) decided not to do that.

  17. How to be a Lifeguard

    All the best for Annotum, I loved the knol concept. Lookforward to updates my all possible support is with you guys ! cheers.

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