In the short history of the web, if any resource on the web has come close to challenging Google’s position as the number one information repository it has to be Wikipedia. The powerful web resource that Jimmy Wells has built and runs purely through donations is one of the success stories of the Internet.And it is set to get bigger and better.
According to the word going around, Wikipedia might just be introducing videos into its fold. Wikimedia had already given a prelude to this on their Collaborative Video page saying:
Wikimedia Foundation and Kaltura have begun a process aimed at bringing rich-media collaboration to Wikipedia and other wiki websites. The vision of this project is to enable the Wikipedia community to further enhance and enrich Wikipedia articles with rich-media content. The technology behind this project is a form of video-wiki software that is integrated into the Mediawiki platform as an extension, allowing users to add collaborative video players that enable all users to add and edit images, sounds, diagrams, animations and movies in the same manner as they do today with text.
What this means is that users can embed clips, while others can find them and edit them. The product however is currently still in Beta and will be made available in a few months. One can however take a preview of what’s coming from Wikipedia at Wikieducator’s video page : http://wikieducator.org/Help:Collaborative_video
As Readwriteweb rightly mentions, the backbone of this eeffort would revolve around the power that Wikipedia already has as it is the 7th most popular site on the web. The traffic that Wikipedia can send to content providers should invite them enough to contribute to this project. The good part for them is that one doesn’t need any special tool to edit or add content and everything is online. However, for Wikipedia it is important that videos be based on Open Source formats.
I think this is a remarkable piece of news and takes Wikipedia properly into the rich media generation. To edit andcollaborate on videos like you do with text is an innovation that redefines technology, Wikipedia makes it better because it takes this to the masses. The amoung of information that it already has is mindboggling and to this video and you have a repository that traditional encyclopedia can never match. Excellent piece of news this.