Submissions/Bold video? Confronting multimedia content in the Wikipedia Manual of Style, NPOV and Be bold! guidelines

From Wikimania 2010 • Gdańsk, Poland • July 9-11, 2010


This is an open submission for Wikimania 2010.

Title of the submission
Bold video? Confronting multimedia content in the Wikipedia Manual of Style, NPOV and Be bold! guidelines

(NOTE: This proposal has been accepted and merged with the Joint Video Workshop)

Type of submission (workshop, tutorial, panel, presentation)
Author of the submission
David Evan Harris
E-mail address or username (if username, please confirm email address in Special:Preferences)
Country of origin
United States
Affiliation, if any (organization, company etc.)
Global Lives Project; Institute for the Future
Personal homepage or blog | |

From a San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 30, 2007, interview with Jimmy Wales: Q: Do you plan on adding more audio and video features?

A: There's not a lot of demand for that from the community. An encyclopedia is inherently textual. Audio or video is a little tricky because it's hard to collaboratively edit it. People can just submit stuff, but if you don't like it, you can't fix it, so it doesn't really fit our style.

As HTML 5 is adopted globally, it brings with it the <video> tag and the advent of a fully free and open multimedia ecosystem on browsers around the world based on the Ogg Theora format. At the same time, Wikipedia's Manual of Style (MoS), the notion of NPOV and the "Be bold!" editing mantra are core elements of the DNA of Wikipedia itself—and none of these documents say absolutely anything about the use of video content in Wikipedia. Video clips have been few and far between in Wikipedia in part due to the clunky javascript-based player needed to display FOSS video content (Adobe Flash was obviously out of the question), and also due to the belief that Jimmy Wales outlined above: that an encyclopedia is inherently textual. His point is a good one, but perhaps a bit out of date, especially given the exciting new partnership between Kaltura and Wikipedia that promises to add a whole new universe of wikified video display and peer collaboration features to our dear encyclopedia.

With the technical capacity to upload and collaboratively edit video in wikipedia, a host of other stylistic and even grammatical questions arise. What does a wikipedia video look like? Are videos to be used only as documentation or evidence of specific events such as a speech or a massacre? Or should they also include clips of a location that is the subject of an article. Will videos always come from a singles source, or will a single video include clips uploaded by dozens of users? Will videos be shown in 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratios? Will videos have narrations? Or if a narration is subpar or undesired, will a different user record a second narration? Will videos be subtitled in multiple languages? If so, how? If a video has subtitles burned into the video in one language, will it be disallowed from other Wikipedias? Will Balinese music play in the background of a Wikipedia video about Balinese landscapes? How will NPOV even begin to be broached in video?

These are only a few of the myriad questions that arise when one begins to think seriously about the evolution of Wikipedia in a true multimedia ecosystem. This workshop proposes to discuss these issues in an open format with an eye to collaboratively outlining the key elements of video guidelines for the Wikipedia MoS, NPOV and Be bold! documents.

Track (People and Community/Knowledge and Collaboration/Infrastructure)
Knowledge and Collaboration OR Infrastructure
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  1. Solstag 19:03, 3 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  2. guillom 21:46, 17 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Headbomb 05:07, 18 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Mdale 21:00, 19 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  5. LA2 11:10, 20 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Shijualex 11:12, 20 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Eloquence 02:20, 21 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Mayo Mayo
  9. --Friedel Völker 15:19, 28 May 2010 (UTC)[reply]
  10. Kocio 12:10, 2 June 2010 (UTC)[reply]