Well, this list isn't very lively thus far. Am I the only one who thinks the new sequencer is fantastic?


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Martin Doege <mdoege@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, Sep 24, 2010 at 9:31 PM
Subject: Separate project; text-to-speech
To: wikivideo-l@lists.wikimedia.org

Hi all!

I love the new Commons video editing capabilities! First let me me reiterate what I wrote here (http://techblog.wikimedia.org/2010/09/video-labs-kaltura-html5-sequencer-available-on-wikimedia-commons/comment-page-1/#comment-967):

Perhaps this will finally be the breakthrough for videos on Wikipedia if existing Commons media (esp. audio and images) can be easily combined into educational videos with this sequencer.

Right now, there are only about 6,000 videos on Commons vs over 7 million images (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:MIME_type_statistics), so video content would be an obvious growth area.

I love the example video about cats created with the new sequencer! It even leaves me wondering whether there should be a completely separate encyplopedia project centered around such presentations. Call it “Videopedia”. :-)

Seriously, many articles on Wikipedia–especially about history-related subjects–have grown to such enormous proportions that, say, 5- or 10-minute videos about the most important points of an article would be very welcome. If you’d want to learn all the finer details you could then still read the complete article afterwards.

My questions are related to implementation details of the videos-as-introductions-to- / digests-of-articles concept:

1) Would it be possible to combine the sequencer with a server-side text-to-speech system so that the timed text could be rendered as audio automatically? The spoken versions of articles are usually quite of date and its difficult to update the text without rerecording them. Text-to-speech seems like an obvious solution.

2) Is there any intention of having a separate template, wiki page, or even Wikimedia project ("videopedia.wikimedia.org" or whatever) for videos created with the new tool? What I'm thinking is that if you have e.g. a general video introduction about cats like the example sequence (if it were properly expanded to be a complete little video about cats, that is), shouldn't it either have its own page on WP or at least a very obvious link from the article (e.g., in the infobox at the top)?

Putting it somewhere _inside_ an article seems wrong to me, because the video would represent an _alternate_ version of the WP article, rather than a _part_ of it. In fact, such a video would probably also cover some of the other cat-related articles on WP to some extent, and therefore would actually be a superset of the "Cats" article, making the question of where to place it on WP even more problematic.

And to counter the idea that new video content can just be uploaded to Commons and users will find it somehow even if it's not linked from WP: According to stats.grok.se, clickthrough rates to Commons pages/categories seem to be very low compared to the hits per day a WP article gets. I don't know why that is, perhaps many WP readers don't know about Commons yet or don't notice the little "Commons cat" box, but IMHO this means that integration of new videos in WP articles in a highly visible way is vital if you want people to find the content.