A new website aptly named Videoonwikipedia.org aims to get more users to contribute video clips to Wikipedia by demystifying some of the issues related to the site’s video format. Videoonwikipedia.org was launched today by the Participatory Culture Foundation, which is also known for its Miro video player, in cooperation with the Open Video Alliance, the Mozilla Drumbeat Project and open source video platform provider Kaltura.
The main idea behind the site is obviously to enrich Wikipedia, which currently doesn’t feature many articles with videos, but the Participatory Culture Foundation also sees this as a chance to showcase HTML5 video and the open video codec Ogg Theora. “Wikipedia is the most popular site in the world that posts video exclusively in open formats,” the organization’s co-founder Nicholas Reville wrote in a blog post, adding: “By encouraging more people to post videos in Wikipedia articles, we can bring theora video played in html5 to a very large audience.”
The new site offers its users a quick and very basic step-by-step guide for posting videos on Wikipedia, which includes converting them to Ogg Theora, signing up for a Wikipedia account and enabling video upload capabilities on the site.
The Participatory Culture Foundation aims to simplify the encoding and converting issues with a new and as of yet unannounced tool dubbed the Miro Video Converter. Users of the converter can simply select Theora as the output format of choice, drop a video file onto the application and wait for the file in question to be converted.
Video on Wikipedia has been a long time coming, with the Wikimedia Foundation announcing plans to embrace video in early 2008. However, the site’s strong commitment to open formats has somewhat slowed down the adoption process, as it took a while until browsers capable of playing Flash-free video via HTML5 became available.
However, part of the delay apparently has also to do with internal issues, as representatives from Wikimedia and its technology partner Kaltura told me earlier this year. Kaltura’s VP of Business and Community Development Shay David said back then that Wikipedia editors took a while to get comfortable with video. “People needed to understand that video is an important aspect of Wikipedia,” he told me, adding: “That needed some time.”