Within two to three months, a person editing a Wikipedia article will find a new button labeled “Add Media.” Clicking it will bring up an interface allowing her to search for video–initially from three repositories containing copyright-free material–and drag chosen portions into the article, without having to install any video-editing software or do any conversions herself. The results will appear as a clickable video clip embedded within the article.
Later, Wikipedia plans to offer ways for users to search the entire Web for importable videos, and plans to provide tools to edit, add to, and reorganize the clips within the Wikipedia website, just as is now done with text.
“To have people be able to go in and annotate your video, edit your video, and improve upon it–in the same way people have been doing to your text posts–is pretty outstanding, and will create an audio-visual representation of our world that will rapidly become as definitive and collaborative as Wikipedia is in the textual world,” says Peter Kaufman, executive producer atIntelligent Television, a documentary production company in New York City that works with cultural and educational institutions, helping them bring their works online. “That may just be the holy grail.”