January 17, 2008 14:40 ET
Wikipedia Invites Users to Take Part in Open, Collaborative Video Experiment
Kaltura, Wikimedia Foundation and WikiEducator Announce a Beta Program to Allow Users to Create Collaborative Video and Other Forms of Rich-Media
ST. PETERSBURG, FL and NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - January 17, 2008) - 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.
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
For more information visit www.kaltura.com or visit the Kaltura blog at
www.kaltura.com/blog/. Users can also test the MediaWiki Collaborative
Video functionality and provide feedback at www.kaltura.com/devwiki.