Wikipedia to add video

New video software set to expand collaborative encyclopedia

Technology trends and news by Ronny Kerr
June 19, 2009
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WikipediaThe online encyclopedia Wikipedia is only two to three months away from implementing a new software tool that will allow any member of the collaborative site to supplement new and existing articles with useful video segments, according to MIT's Technology Review.

The Wikimedia Foundation, with its soon-to-be-launched software, will enable Wikipedia users to not only collaborate in text and image, as they do now, but also in video, sound, and animation. The foundation’s aim is to increase the comprehensiveness of Wikipedia articles by providing editors with technology that will make it quick and easy to improve the quality of articles with the aid of rich-media content.

Kaltura, the New York-based software company developing the innovative software for Wikimedia, follows Wikipedia’s lead in only allowing open-source videos as projects on article pages. Databases like the Internet Archive and Wikimedia Commons, already hosting hundreds of thousands of such videos, should provide ample multimedia for Wikipedia editors looking to expand the site’s millions of articles.

First announced in a press release in January 2008, Kaltura’s technology for group editing and producing of rich-media content has been in beta stages for over a year now.

In that press release, Chairman and CEO of Kaltura Ron Yekutiel spoke optimistically on the future of his company’s software stating, "Since we launched Kaltura's Global Network a few months ago, we've seen that rich-media collaboration is becoming a reality and something that is valued and needed in the market – be it through users creating collaborative Kaltura videos on our portal, or via partners who license our platform. I am confident that our project with Wikimedia will excite people's imagination as they become familiar with the concept of peer production of rich media, and solidify Kaltura as the leader in its field."

On Kaltura’s wiki-style development page for the upcoming software upgrade, various pages have been roughly setup with videos, merely to present examples of how the software works and how it will look. For example, this iPod article features a video, though a bit amateur in nature, that demonstrates the tools dedicated Wikipedia users will be using to color up the site's articles.

According to MIT’s Technology Review, the software should be exhibited today at the New York City Open Video Conference alongside an announcement concerning the upcoming update.

(image source: MIT Technology Review)


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