from the Chronicle of Higher Education:
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who coined the term "marginalia," constantly scribbled in the white spaces of his books. Pierre de Fermat famously spoke of his last theorem in a margin note. To this day, scholars and students still jot down comments and questions on the edges of their textbook pages.
With CommentPress, released in July by the Institute for the Future of the Book, designers have endeavored to help digital books capture the immediacy and interactivity of the margin note. "Text is meant to be a conversation," says Ben Vershbow, an associate director at the institute, which is sponsored by the University of Southern California but is based in Brooklyn. "We've tried to create a reading environment that is more dynamic than you'd usually find on a Web site."