By Mary Mackoy
What is this Thinglink…thing?
ThingLink is an online image and video annotation tool. Using ThingLink you can add annotations directly to images and videos. For example: I analyzed the poster for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Instead of flipping back and forth between my analysis and the picture you can read specific annotations directly connected to the element being analyzed.
Reiner, Andrew. “Highlights from The Star Wars: The Last Jedi Livestream.” Game Informer. 14 Apr 2017. Web. 11 May 2017.
Here is the three-step process to making your very own annotated image or video:
- Go to the ThingLink website.
- Sign up for an account. There is a basic version of ThingLink available to everyone for free. However, you can also upgrade for more styling options like different font, color, and background patterns.
- Upload a picture or video and start annotating!
- The site has tons of useful how-to videos from tagging an image to instructions for posting your finished annotated images and videos on your channel.
- The channel function allows you to create a themed collection of annotated images that can be seen by others using ThingLink.
- The group function allows you to create collaborative annotated images with others invited to the group- useful for a class or study group- and share images that you have created with specific people.
- A few fun projects that others have created to get your creative juices flowing: Imbed music or spoken word in an image, create and interactive syllabus, or add historical content to an image.
Why does ThingLink sit among the hallowed halls of Digital Humanities?
ThingLink fits into DH as a tool but not as a research/analysis method. Digital tools like ThingLink may not make arguments of their own (like network graphs from Gephi) or lead to greater questions about the texts being analyzed (like collocation in Voyant), but ThingLink makes researching, learning, and facilitating learning much easier; digital tools like Prezi, StoryMap, even Google Docs all fall into this category as well. These tools are important because they make the humanities more accessible, especially for the classroom setting. Students can learn at their own pace, whether completing an assignment with ThingLink or interacting with an image/video the teacher has created, and students are actively engaging with the material. Using ThingLink can help teachers of any subject diversify their teaching methods to cater to all learning styles. As society becomes more digitized, digital tools such as Thinglink help the humanities keep apace.