Earlier this week we announced the first of four videos featuring Wikipedia’s volunteer editors, Wikipedia: Username. Today we released the fourth and final video in the series, Wikipedia: Great feeling.
All four of the videos have now been posted – both on the Wikimedia Commons and also on YouTube. The videos are all available under CC-BY-SA. For the YouTube version, consider opting into YouTube’s HTML5 beta, to support the open web. We strongly believe in the importance of open video formats for an open web, and most modern browsers can now play either the open WebM or OGV format. The videos on Wikimedia Commons will automatically playback with an open-source HTML5 player in Firefox.
We hope you’ll agree that the values, passion, energy and authenticity of Wikimedia’s volunteer community come through in full force. Wikimedia is a very special community, and we hope that we’ll be able to inspire many more to join it.
Screenshot showing a search for cats and drag an image into the sequence
I am happy to invite the Wikimedia community to try out the latest Kaltura HTML5 video sequencer as part of a Wikimedia/Kaltura Video Labs project that can now be used on Wikimedia Commons with resulting sequences visible on any Wikimedia project. For those that have been following the efforts, it has been a long road to deliver this sequence editing experience within the open web platform and within the MediaWiki platform. This blog post will highlight the foundational technologies in use by the sequencer in its present state and outline some of the upcoming features in Firefox 4, and enhancements to the sequencer itself that are set to improve the editing experience.
If you want to just jump into editing, please check out the commons documentation page and play around with the editor and let us know what you think. This project is early on in its development. Your bug reports, ideas, feedback and participation will help drive future features and how these tools are used within Wikimedia projects.
And finally, if you are in the New York area consider checking out the Open Video Conference coming up October 1st to the 3nd, which will be a great space to hack on open video and work on ideas for the future of video on Wikimedia projects.
This week the Wikimedia Foundation is pleased to introduce a series of short videos that were produced in Summer of 2010 that highlight our users: the volunteer contributors from around the world who help make projects like Wikipedia a reality.
(The clips will be posted on this YouTube channel, and also as CCBYSA files on the Wikimedia Commons)
These videos were produced with two key outcomes in mind: to inform the general public about the people and inspiration behind our movement, and also to energize and inspire new Wikipedia editors to engage bravely in contributing to Wikipedia. The latter focus is particularly important for the Foundation’s current Public Policy initiative outreach, but we’re hopeful they will inspire other new editors around the world.
Altogether we will be launching four videos, and today’s video ‘Username’ is a short clip that introduces some of the 35 Wikipedia editors that were interviewed during the annual Wikimania conference last summer in Gdansk Poland. We’ll launch the rest of the clips through this week, hosting them on video sharing sites and of course on the Wikimedia Commons. The clips are all CCBYSA 3.0, including the great background music by Matthew Carey.
The clips were created for the Wikimedia Foundation by a team that’s been working with the Foundation over the past year. They were directed by Jelly Helm, produced by Noah Stanik, shot by DP Reed Harkness, and edited by Sarah Marcus. The Germany-based film production crew Living Colour was an essential partner in bringing everything together at the shoot in Gdansk, Poland, and Fenton Communications, who have been supporting the Foundation over the past year, were our agency partners in pulling this project together. We also owe the organizers of 2010′s Wikimania conference a great deal of thanks for helping us sort out the production on the ground and for letting us borrow participants for short interviews.
And of course our great thanks go to each of the 35 Wikipedins who took the time to open up and share their views and philosophies about our movement. The Foundation is incredibly fortunate to be able to meet so many Wikimedia volunteers, and it’s a great pleasure to be able to share some of the passion and energy we see every day.
How can we recruit even more people to make Wikipedia a richer, deeper learning resource? For one thing, by making it easier to contribute (see our previous announcement). But, we also have to make our readers aware that their help is welcome, and ease them into taking the first steps to improving or creating an article. So, we’re funding the development of a slate of outreach resources such as brochures and videos that help people to get started, some of which target specific audiences like teachers and students.
If you don’t speak Italian, you may be interested in Howcast’s lovely introduction to creating a Wikipedia article, embedded below:
Produced with guidance from Swedish Wikipedia volunteer Lennart Guldbrandsson, it’s a fun and comprehensive intro, and uses Howcast’s powerful “how-to player” to guide viewers through the instructions. Howcast San Francisco, by the way, now resides in the offices previously used by the Wikimedia Foundation, so perhaps they were inspired by forgotten wiki paraphernalia. ;-)
The Wikimedia Foundation didn’t plan or commission these videos, but we’re very happy and grateful that they were made – we believe instructional video resources will be essential as we scale our efforts to recruit new editors. A big thank you to Wikimedia Italia and Howcast for leading by example. Moving forward, we are seeking opportunities to assist and encourage our chapters and individual volunteers in creating these types of outreach resources.
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
Video can play an important role in an encyclopedia and in other learning resources. Whether it’s clips of animals, speeches, interviews, excerpts from important films, explanatory animations, footage of historical events, or even collaboratively created documentaries exploring complex topics — video can enrich our learning experience. There are about 4,500 video files in our media repository today, a tiny number. We don’t expect that Wikipedia will turn into “Wikitube” anytime soon, but we do hope that thousands more relevant educational videos will find their way into articles in our projects.
The Wikimedia Foundation also believes that two things need to change for video on the web: it needs to break out of the Flash container used for most video on the web so that developers can build smarter and richer applications, and it needs to be shared in a free format so that anyone can shoot and broadcast video without paying fees. That’s why we use an open video standard for all our videos. The “Let’s get video on Wikipedia how-to” provides simple instructions to convert video into a free and open format and upload it. And, of course, all video content on Wikimedia Commons can be re-used by anyone for any purpose: we’re open all the way.
The campaign is being co-organized by Mozilla Drumbeat, Wikimedia New York City, and the Participatory Culture Foundation, makers of the open source Miro video player and downloader. It’s also a trial-by-fire for some of the new video technology we’ve been working on in partnership with Kaltura. In short, it’s a demonstration of the power of building alliances. If you’re a video maker or a web developer, we hope that you’ll join us in supporting open standards and free educational video content.
Wikipedia volunteer TheDJ provides some further under-the-hood information in his blog summary.
Deputy Director, Wikimedia Foundation
I would like to announce that some of the new media features are now available in gadget form on Wikimedia Commons and the English Wikipedia. These include a new ogg player, the add media wizard, and firefogg upload support. I hope having these components in gadget form will enable some more testing and feedback :)
A few months more down the line, we’ll start being able to integrate support for our inline video sequencer, which’ll make it easy to extract snippets of a longer video and combine them — entirely using open-source, non-patent-encumbered web standards. This makes heavy use of the new HTML 5 multimedia support; while at first editing will be limited to Firefox 3.5 users, other browsers are continuing to improve and adopt the same support.
We’re excited to release ‘Inside Wikimedia‘ - our first video showcasing the people, projects, and the environment of the Wikimedia Foundation. It’s short, but you can get a sense of who is behind the Foundation and what exactly we do on a day to day basis. All of this video was shot on-location in our San Francisco offices.
Of course it’s a CC-BY-SA 3.0 work (with free music from Jamendo!), so feel free to remix and distribute far and wide. The video is available in the formats below, and is hosted on Wikimedia Commons and on the Internet Archive. We’re working on localized versions with alternate language subtitles as well. Appreciate any comments or feedback.