The Wikimedia Foundation, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual content, and Kaltura, Inc., a pioneer in Collaborative Media, announced today that the companies have begun a process aimed at bringing rich-media collaboration to Wikipedia and other wiki websites. Under this project, users will be invited to test new functionality that could one day enable Wikipedia articles to include collaboratively created video, audio, animations, and slideshows as well as text and images.
The functionality will be demonstrated on WikiEducator (not a Wikimedia project), an educational wiki hosted by the Commonwealth of Learning. As part of the first stage of this collaboration, Kaltura will release as open source software its own front-end and back-end code. “This is only the first step in supporting open source and open standards”, explained Shay David, Chief Technology Officer of Kaltura, Inc. “As part of the cooperation with Wikipedia, we will ensure that our rich media platform works without any dependencies on closed software or closed standards.”
The beta test on WikiEducator serves to give users a glimpse of the functionality developed by Kaltura, and to encourage the international open source developer community to contribute time, skills, and ideas to the project. “I am proud that WikiEducator can support the testing of this cutting-edge innovation for education in collaboration with the free knowledge community” said Wayne Mackintosh, founder of the WikiEducator project: “Social networking and collaborative editing of rich media will unleash untapped potential for learning across our planet.”
The concepts of peer production and rich media are at the forefront of today’s digital world. The overwhelming participation in Wikipedia has revealed users’ inclination to collaborate using text. Simultaneously, the success of user-generated video sharing sites has demonstrated users’ growing interest to produce and to share rich media. With this project, Wikimedia and Kaltura hope to leverage both these trends by allowing groups of online users to collaborate and create rich media content together, and contribute to human knowledge creation and dissemination globally.
“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,” said Ron Yekutiel, Chairman and CEO of Kaltura.
Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, welcomed this first cooperation: “We are pleased to work with a company that has affirmed strong support for open source software and open standards. All video and audio content in Wikimedia projects uses free formats, such as Ogg Vorbis and Ogg Theora, that can be played back using open source software. We believe that open standards are critical to a web future where everyone can contribute — in the true spirit of Wikipedia.”
About the WikiEducator demo
The WikiEducator collaborative video experiment can be accessed through:
WikiEducator is an educational wiki hosted by the Commonwealth of Learning, an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies.
The goal of the Wikipedia project is to create free encyclopedias in all languages of the world. Anyone with Internet access is free to contribute by writing new articles and editing existing articles.
Wikipedia started in January 2001, and currently offers more than eight million articles in 250 languages. The largest Wikipedia is in English, with more than two million articles; it’s followed by the German and French editions, each of which contain more than half a million articles. Nine other language editions contain 100,000+ articles, and more than 100 other languages contain 1,000+ articles. Every month, new language editions launch.
Wikipedia is entirely created and maintained by a community of active volunteers. In 2004, Wikipedia won the Webby Award for “Community” and the Prix Ars Electronica’s Golden Nica for “Digital Communities.” Since the start of the project, more than 100,000 registered users have made at least ten edits each, and more than 3.4 million people have created accounts on the English Wikipedia alone.
About the Wikimedia Foundation
The Wikimedia Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. It operates some of the largest collaboratively-edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, one of the world’s 10 most-visited websites. The Foundation was created in 2003 by Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia.
Today, the Wikimedia Foundation operates the following projects:
Wikipedia, a project to build free encyclopedias in all languages of the world. Wiktionary, a project to create free content dictionaries and thesauri in every language. Wikiquote, a repository of quotations taken from famous people, books, speeches, films or any intellectually interesting materials. Wikibooks, which aims to build a collection of free e-book resources, including textbooks, language courses, manuals, and annotated public domain books. Wikisource, a collection of classic books, laws, and other free works. Wikispecies , a central, extensive species database for taxonomy. Wikinews, with the mission to report the news on a wide variety of subjects. Wikiversity, a project dedicated to learning materials and learning communities. Wikimedia Commons, a central repository for free video, images, music, spoken texts, and other free media that can be easily reused by all Wikimedia projects.
All projects of the Wikimedia Foundation are collaboratively developed by volunteers using the MediaWiki software. All contributions are licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License (except in Wikinews, which is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5). This means their content may be freely used, freely edited, freely copied and freely redistributed subject to the restrictions of that license.
For more information: Sandy Ordonez Wikimedia Foundation (727) 231-0101
Kaltura is a New York-based pioneer in Collaborative Media, allowing groups of users to create rich-media projects together using video, audio, and animation, similarly to what wiki platforms enable with text. Kaltura’s revolutionary concept of group-video-making provides the incentive and opportunity for people to ‘lean forward’ and create rich-media with friends and like-minded people. Kaltura’s technology is implemented in the kaltura.com portal, available to all for free; and is also licensed to other websites, social networks, and brands for their customized and integrated use. Together, Kaltura’s partners comprise the Kaltura Global Network, the world’s largest network of re-mixable, shared and legal rich-media content, and creators. Founded in 2006, Kaltura’s management and advisory team includes top notch advertising, marketing, and media executives as well as seasoned technology entrepreneurs, including co-founders of ICQ, Cyota, and Destinator Technologies.
Since its public launch in September 2007, Kaltura has won the People’s Choice Award at both the TechCrunch40 event, and the Mashable Open Web Awards.
For more information visit https://corp.kaltura.com or visit the Kaltura blog at https://corp.kaltura.com/blog/.
Users can also test the MediaWiki Collaborative Video functionality and provide feedback at https://corp.kaltura.com/devwiki.