We recently began offering CommentPress as the seventh system theme option available to you. The theme, offered by the Institute for the Future of the Book, mimics the age-old tradition of marginalia by moving comments from the end of the document to the relevant paragraphs. Like annotation has done for millennia, it brings comments into conversation with the passages that inspired them– enhancing the conversational possibilities of a blog post.
There are a variety of ways CommentPress could be used to full advantage. If you are interested in having your students build a textbook or other substantial document, you could use the CommentPress theme on a course blog to encourage collaboration through pointed commenting/editing. Similarly, students might create a class report (or small group reports) with the CommentPress theme. (See the New Media Consortium’s Horizon Report for an example of a report published with the CommentPress theme.) Those with individual blogs, conversely, might consider publishing a piece of scholarly work to solicit feedback and informal peer review. (Lisa Spiro, for example, has published and remixed her dissertation online with the theme.)
To apply the CommentPress theme to your existing blog, go to your dashboard and select “themes” under the “design” tab. To request a blog, email the CNDLS developers.