Marketing Hypothesis

I’m incredibly excited—and deeply honored—to be joining the team at Hypothesis, the organization behind the capabilities that enable everyone to take digital notes, everywhere. At Hypothesis, I’ll be leading marketing: telling the stories that engage people to add a new layer to the web.

Buttons that activate Hypothesis.

If you haven’t seen Hypothesis before, look in the upper right corner of my blog and you’ll see buttons that let you create and add to your own digital notebook of annotated links. For your further travels, the easiest way to use Hypothesis everywhere is with our Chrome browser extension.

Why Join Hypothesis?

Let me count the ways < see how annotation works! I’m inspired to join Hypothesis because it hearkens to what speaks to me: an essential need that people recognize and will sustain.

  1. For more reasons than I can go into here, information literacy has never been more important. Persistent, shared engagement with reading is the foundation of literacy. Annotation records, personalizes, and connects engagement across the digital landscape. This needs to happen.
  2. Educators, journalists, publishers, and researchers—among others—are already using or calling for the kind of universal annotation Hypothesis provides. There’s a call to answer.
  3. Hypothesis’s standards-based, nonprofit, growth-friendly model can enable good practices to spread wide and persist to be meaningful. It will succeed.

Why marketing?

Getting the story right is essential. To make the changes I want to see happen, I need to connect others to what matters to them. Story has always been a part of my work, but I’ve taken on so many things across my career that I’ve never been able to make story my primary focus. At Hypothesis, I’ll be joining an awesome team that’s already doing such great work that I’ll have the unfamiliar luxury to focus my efforts on making the story matter: Why do we need annotation? How do we annotate? Who needs to know?

It seems like all paths were pointing me to Hypothesis. In true serendipity, I first learned of Hypothesis from a post by Marshall Kirkpatrick, who went on to found Little Bird, where I radically transmogrified my skills and experience as part of their founding team. Next I moved to Lumen Learning, where we recognized how annotation could raise teaching and learning to new levels and were already piloting Hypothesis in combination with open educational resources (OER).

Looking back, I can see I’ve been devoted to expanding access to critical engagement with information from my academic studies—where I focused on how media and culture intermix—to each of my jobs, where my focus has always been to enable deeper engagement with information for a wider array of folks. It makes sense that I would get to Hypothesis, where we are working “to enable a conversation over the world’s knowledge”.

I’m leaving Lumen in good hands: a team of talented folks continues the important work we started together to spread OER broadly in higher education: Alexis Clifton, Alyson Day, Alyson Indrunas, Bracken Mosbacker, Gary Abernethy, Heather Angell, Josh Baron, Paul Golisch, Ross Strader, Suzanne Jenkins, and all the other folks doing amazing work less in the public eye. A special thanks to my Lumen colleague, Julie Curtis, whose leadership of communications and strategy at Lumen taught me so much that will help me at Hypothesis and beyond. And of course nothing Lumen does would be possible without the vision cofounders David Wiley and Kim Thanos provide. Thank you all for the great work we have done together!

Going forward: let marginalia reign!

10 thoughts on “Marketing Hypothesis”

  1. Great news! But there’s no RSS feed discoverable from your page of annotations… ;)

    Seriously though, I am very excited for you and Hypothesis, great great mission and what an incredible organization.

    • Thank you Marshall…I truly wouldn’t be here without you, from your first post about Hypothesis back on RWW, to our work together, to your continued support. Huge gratitude!

      FYI, Hypothesis has some RSS support, but that’s an interesting question about making a feed discoverable from an annotated page. Maybe @judell could lend wisdom…

  2. Warmest congratulations, Nate. You’ll do amazing work there as you did here in VA with Lumen and the VCCS. I can’t wait to hear more about your adventures, and about Hypothesis!

  3. Congratulations, Nate! The next time I’m ready to annotate my thinking with the interwebs from a tree well, I’ll know who I can turn to for advice;) On a serious note, I’m so happy for you and thanks for the special shout-out with team Lumen. You are missed. It was awesome working with you and count me in as an enthusiastic supporter of your efforts at Hypothesis–even if I need satellite internet access in the backcountry:)

    • Thanks Alyson! Your presence on the Lumen team is one of the major reasons I know that the work we started is in good hands. Stay tuned for Hypothesis’s upcoming offgrid annotation capability for backcountry use ;)


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