From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

A lot of film was shot of a lot of Wikimedians at Wikimania 2005. A lot has been shot before and since, by news reporters and film crews, much of it in Germany.

  • ARTE (de|fr) broadcast a 10-minute spot (shot by Westend TV) about Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, and old-school references, on the Saturday of Wikimania.
  • A professional documentary team from New York (Globalvision) came for 5 days to shoot film and interviews at Wikimania; which they have turned into a short documentary for Frontline/World. Their visit was funded in part by grants from Mitchell Kapor and George Mason University's "ECHO" project for digital historians.
  • Fuzheado came with a camera and tripod and shot detailed interviews with a large number of Wikimedians from around the world; with the idea of putting together a collection of their comments.


Since then, the idea of a collaborative Wikimentary (coined by Globalvision's Rory O'Connor), or different flavours of such a beast, has been floating about. Many ideas have been shared about how to use the available footage; most of the footage mentioned above will be available under a free license. Among the ideas:

  • to have short pastiche-clips for including in public talks and presentations
  • to have a public collaboration on some aspects of producing a full documentary
  • to have many chunks of raw video available on the ECHO project page as source material

Creating a wikimentary[edit]

(be the first to write a review :-)


If you'd like to take part in the project, or work on your own short wikimentary using this content, you can help in a few ways.

  1. Download the transcripts (all of which are rough, have some

mistakes, and are currently Word files) and one of the low-res 'screener' files; listen to the screener while editing the transcript.

  1. Upload the fixed transcript, as something other than a Word file, to

Wikisource :-)

  1. Edit your own video from the raw footage! Right now only Tape #8

is available in high-resolution via, but for a test project all the med-res footage should be fine.

Education about using video[edit]

Ideas for documenting Wikimedia[edit]

There is a call for many different kinds of documentation - written, audio, raw video, and edited/directed documentary - for different audiences. In all, room for a wide variety of efforts.

  • Clips of wikimedia participants, as an intro (30 seconds? 1 minute?)
  • Other collections of raw interview footage. (on ECHO?) Right now we just have the Globalvision video; but I know there is raw interview footage shot by Fuzheado, soufron, and others.

Current content:

  2. Retrospective thoughts

Interested groups[edit]


They have shown much enthusiasm to date. Agenda for the future:

  1. Free licensing of video content. How to support an initial documentary release to recoup filming costs, as well as free reuse afterwards? Discussion of similar recent cases; short-term traditional C followed by CC; other.
  2. Video, audio, and text formats. Ogg and Mpeg? In which repositories?
  3. Coordination with ECHO. What kind of content? How much raw interview footage to release?
  4. Coordination of video-prep work with interns, other volunteers (on-wiki!, etc)
  5. Airtime and funding. BBC, PBS, documentary cable channels. Early use of shorter text and audio bits.


George Mason's project to promote historical record-keeping online. Provided some of the initial funding; are looking to feature some of the raw Globalvision footage on their new portal opening in 2006.

Echo chamber project[edit]

Working to create a collaborative documenatry about the media leading up to the latest US invasion of Iraq. Aims to build a coalition to create software/infrastructure to encourage such collaboration.

Kent Bye writes: "I think the biggest question you have is "What is your strategic intent for remixing this footage?" It appears as though Rory O'Connor of Globalvision has produced his verson for Frontline, and now you want to create your own version using his footage.

I think a key point to make is to start thinking about films in more non-linear ways -- specifically that the end goal may not be just to produce a linear product. It may actually be more useful to gather context, meaning and interpretations from the collaboration community on the gathered sound bites in the form of granular folksonomy tags, quantitative ratings or look at the implicit value that is gained from the process of individuals juxtaposing a particular sound bite next to another sound bites within a playlist.

How can you recreate the interactive experience of exploring wikipedia articles by using rich media?

For text, it's by clicking on the hypertext links. With rich media, it may be with gathering a lot of information about how dots are connected, and then using this fractal structure as a roadmap for experiencing the process of knowledge creation -- and then dynamically joining these segments together using open standards like SMIL.

So I see a lot of potential from some combination of extracting navigation information from the bottom-up participation to create a more complex and interactive film structure.

This may redefine what it means for collaborative editing -- and for experiencing a "film."

I've sketched out a few more ideas on this post: Fractals & Folksonomies: A New Map for Participatory Journalism -- and talk about it more in this interview

I'm doing my system in Drupal, but I imagine that there should also be ways to incorporate wikis into this."


Local cable access channels, and their associated media centers, are federally funded and exist solely to provide tools and educational resources for people who want to learn how to shoot, edit, and broadcast video. They've been searching for ways to connect with the Internet with limited success, and are interested in being involved with this kind of project.

Thoughts and ideas to consider[edit]

  • We might need to work out a bittorrent process for storing/sharing these files, once people are working with audio.
  • With a project like this wikimentary as a focus, Wikimedia is in a position to bring together people working on various OS media platforms, maybe jolt Ogg's Xiph Foundation back into life.
  • We should be extra careful about people mixing and matching licenses while creating their own wikimentary branch.
  • There are fun history-related details to work out, if we want to get that bit right. We don't currently have a failsafe way of tracking any kinds of history. We do a fair job with text, because we offer an interface for 'editing in place' that tracks who is doing the editing. With images it is harder; witness the history of the Onion ad on Meta (m:Ads) as it underwent development, or of our various logo design contests. There, we deal with history by trusting users to add appropriate text (based on <Media:foo> by <user:bar>. A video will have two or three orders of magnitude more edits in its history than any image or media we've dealt with before.
  • Check out past attendees of the Signal to Noise conference; these are people who would be excited to provide advice or assistance; many of them have been involved in new and different kinds of mashups over the years; but mostly one- or few-person collaborations.
  • Check out previous projects for net-based collaborative video, such as Javu.

How the Wikimentary process could work[edit]

  • Before doing a piece of 'planned' video (eg. educational video - not a documentary), a storyboard is done. This is essentially a combination of text and images on a timeline, ie. "Close-up of face - ominous music fading in" with a brief sketch of the frame composition and an indication on where the music/voiceover comes in and whether it is increasing or decreasing in volume - done by an elongated < or >. This could be done easily in the normal wikiway, without any necessary augmentation of the history function.
  • When you have the video footage, a tape log is done - which is just a record of where exactly each clip is on the tape, eg. 4mins36sec: Close up of face; 5mins02sec: Medium close up... Someone will have to do this, ie. whoever has the tape. However, when this is done, and once the complete file is somewhere accessible, other peopel can go about selecting the best clip for a particular purpose. So, for example, I propose that the clip of the close up be dumped because it is slightly out of focus - I suggest we use the medium close up as it looks better, has some background context. Use from 5:04 to 5:08 and use directly after the shot of the table.... or whatever. This obviously works for a documentary as well as a 'planned' piece of video (for want of a better word).
  • Collaborative editing is a nightmare - you do a nifty piece of editing on your own which takes you three hours and then your comrades come and tell you they want to scrap that and use something else or do it differently. You either need to have everyone around the same screen or have a system whereby everything is discussed in advance, then done by whoever, then evaluated, then fiddled with. Often the effect of an edit is not perceivable until you see it - you know that "job's a good 'un" or you just feel there's something wrong (ie a split second too long on that (goddamn) face). It's not just as simple as sticking a sentence back in or moving a paragraph around - fades/cuts/levels all take time to implement and adjust. There's something to be said for someone taking charge of the editing - or possibly each person takes charge of a particular section. Then everything is evaluated, fiddled with etc... Does this make sense? Cormaggio @ 12:35, 15 October 2005 (UTC)[reply]

Wikimentary Names and Trademarks[edit]

  • A trademark was filed on 04/01/2011 for the exclusive use of the term "Wikimentary." The USPTO accepted the registration for use with online media services, to assist professional and non-professional documentarians and/or filmmakers in the production, promotion and distribution of documentaries and other media, namely, providing a website featuring resources, namely, a website featuring primarily non-downloadable electronic publications in the nature of magazines, books, and brochures in the field of documentaries and filmmaking and also featuring non-downloadable software
  • Source:[1]

Interested people[edit]

Multimedia geeks
"Yes, I'm a media geek; I play with images/audio/video all the time"
"Not a multimedia geek... yet. But this sounds amazing."

Related efforts[edit]

Wikinews articles about Wikimedia goings-on, other intra-WM news outlets...

Website for the Globalvision project