Learning patterns/Engage with public broadcasters
What problem does this solve?
Public broadcasters are still often unaware of the opportunities that are opened by publishing their materials openly. Through the project The Mind of the Universe, Dutch public broadcaster VPRO, and The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision explored the opportunities for collaboration with universities and the Wikimedia movement around specific materials that were produced for a television series about the cutting edge of science. In a practitioners' statement they reflected on their experiences in producing material for open publication and made recommendations to public broadcasters who are considering making contributions to the commons.
What is the solution?
The recommendations pertain to the various stages of production of materials: Pre-Production Recommendations These experiences lead to the following recommendations:
- Make the consideration of open publication an integral part of the conceptualisation stage of new projects, especially those that have strong informative and educational potential. Ask yourself: how could open publication of (parts of) these materials help us reach our goals?
Investigate and explore the possibilities for open publication within the legal limitations that are applicable for public broadcasters in the country concerned.
- Make sure you can clearly explain and show the added value of open publication of the specific materials. What potential use-cases do you see for this content after publication? If possible, create pilot material before approaching funders and partners.
- Take inventory of possible reuse scenarios, for instance in education and on Wikimedia projects, and where possible involve those communities early on.
- Whilst planning, try to run through the entire production process from start to finish for the various distribution channels you have in mind. By doing so, resources can be allocated more effectively. E.g. translation can be done just once for all outlets, same goes for annotation, adding metadata, etc.
- Work with music produced specifically for the openly publishable production, or with openly licensed music that can be found on platforms such as Jamendo and Tribe of Noise. Even when a copyright holder gives you permission to use their music in your production, automated copyright detection systems, such as YouTube’s content ID system, might still flag the content as copyrighted.
- It is important to verify that contracts with all parties involved state that the rights are transferred to the publishing organisation. In exceptional cases, producers/directors are members of rights organisations (e.g. VEVAM in the Netherlands) that ensures compensation when their productions are distributed via other platforms. These agreements can be at odds with the notion of open publication and should be avoided.
- Make searching through the openly published material as easy as possible. Use available tools to transcribe and tag the video segments to provide granular entries into the corpus.
- Publish open source (non-proprietary) file formats for open publication.
- If the ambition is to get material broadcasted in other countries, take into account the requirements of the distribution system (and practices) that are in place there.
- Budget for long-term follow-up. Additional time and resources are required for editorial activities, adding metadata, building and maintaining a functioning platform for the distribution of the materials and social media activities. For national broadcasters, promoting their publications internationally might require different approaches and knowledge.
- Actively encourage reuse through community engagement, promote the materials on various platforms, be available for questions, team up with educational platforms, etc.
- If reuse on the Wikimedia projects is among your goals, try to involve people from those projects early on to understand their values, level of expertise and needs.
- Track the reuse of materials, not only in quantitative terms, but also highlight individual reuse scenarios to better understand the way in which audiences engage with the materials published.
- Tracking and evaluating needs to be repeated over time to learn about the ways in which the internet’s so called “long tail” functions for openly published video materials online.
Finally a number of recommendations for the Wikimedia community are: Recommendations for the Wikimedia Community:
- Although the majority of this paper has focused on public broadcasters, there are a few recommendations that could possibly help the community of editors on Wikimedia projects to profit more from projects such as The Mind of the Universe. As briefly argued above, but more extensively in Kaufman’s white paper, online video is changing the way in which knowledge is produced and consumed. For an online encyclopedia like Wikipedia, it would make sense to incorporate video more fundamentally at various levels:
- As illustrations to articles that discuss various behaviours, landscapes, locations, historical events, technologies, customs, species, etc. Such video material can be produced by amateur filmers within the community in projects similar to WikiLovesMonuments, or the community can actively engage with new communities of (professional) filmers to make their needs and wishes known.
- To enable editors of articles to find the right video material will require more than just adding categories on Wikimedia Commons. Searching through the content of the videos can be made possible by incorporating state of the art tools, for example for video annotation and speech recognition.
- An article, or summary of an article could be presented as a video compiled of various sources (video, audio, illustrations, etc.). By doing so the encyclopedia would be made more accessible to a less literate audience and more attractive to young people increasingly used to digesting AV information. The excellent image quality of consumer video cameras combined with open source video editors such as Shortcut and Open Shot can make creating such videos accessible to most people.
- As a source of reference to claims made in articles. This would require the development of standards for referencing videos, and more community consensus on what requirements there are for videos to serve as a reference.