Hypothesis is an open source, non-profit project and company which has developed an open protocol for annotation across the web through the W3C. It is also specifically focused on supporting academic use. The public-facing tool is free for people to use and their company is supported by paid integration of their platform into learning management systems at the institutional level.
Although the platform is centrally hosted and managed, the protocol-oriented approach of the organization enables the model to be developed in a more decentralized fashion.
As almost all student use of the tool is private in small groups at the classroom level and not done in public, below are some examples of well annotated public web pages to give potential adopters a perspective on the tool and it's social annotation use:
- As We May Think by Vannevar Bush (_The Atlantic_, July 1945)
- Engelbart Framework Annotation Project
- Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework by Douglas C. Engelbart, October 1962
Encourage and evaluate active reading
- Nathan Schneider (CU Boulder)’s Disruptive Entrepreneurship course
Note taking tool
- Chris Aldrich has suggested using it as a note taking tool in much the same way that Mortimer J. Adler recommends reading with a pen in hand. On this basis, it could also be leveraged as a digital commonplace book or zettelkasten.
- With RSS feeds, a feed reader, and the social annotation piece of its functionality, the platform could operate like a social network. Given the the work to do some of this manually and the speed at which it could operate and its overall design, it is much harder to make it have some of the toxicity of other corporate social networks.
- With some creativity   , one could use Hypothesis as the basis of a commenting system for their website or blog.
Social bookmarking tool
- The use of "page annotations" along with tagging can be leveraged along with browser extensions to turn Hypothesis into a simple bookmarking service with search. 
- Though it doesn't provide a huge amount of control over the presentation, Hypothesis has most of the major functionality one would like to have in a blogging or microblogging platform.
How to use it
A bibliography related to Hypothesis:
Bibliographies about social annotation, many of which include information and use cases for Hypothesis:
- Bibliography for Social Annotation
- Zotero group for AnnotatED: The Community for Annotation in Education
- Google Group Hypothesis Forum (for support, questions, collaboration)
- Hypothesis Slack Channel
- Some members of the Hypothesis community communicate with each other using Slack, an online tool that enables us to talk about annotation technologies, practices, and events in public and private groups and message each other directly.
- CrowdLaaers a tool to explore social learning analytics associated with Hypothesis annotation.
- Lindy Learn Annotations shows new public web annotations from Hypothes.is and Hacker News.
- Zocurelia (Zotero + Hypothesis for reading groups)
- DocDrop, a tool for annotating documents, Google Drive docs, and YouTube videos with Hypothesis