In the following article I want to give an overview of the discussions and movements that are going on about video and multimedia content for wikipedia and her sister projects. I will start with some positive experiences and then tell you about some bad experiences. This article is not to wine about some edit war it is more about observing an undecided / open topic within the community of wikipedians.

During my time as a PhD student I actively contributed to open educational resources by uploading so far 52 educating videos to wikimedia commons. Some of those videos have been created together with Robert Naumann. Another share of the videos was uploaded by him. So a large fraction of those videos have been made for the web science mooc an can be found at:

Last week we submitted the following video to the OPERA Award, which is an award for OER video material. It was established with the goal of having more of such content. 

As you can see it was selected to be the media file of the day on November 2nd on wikimedia commons (*cheering*) can anyone show me how this has happened? I was looking for the process but I did not find it.

Also I have included another video about pointers in C (in German language: Zeiger in C) into an wikipedia article. 

Does wikipedia like videos within articles?

From my experience the Pointer video was removed a couple of times from the german wikipedia article related to that topic and then also brought back to the article. So it seems like there isn’t any consensus within the community yet about having videos. Interestingly enough I was asked by some wikipedians to submit my video for a video competition they are doing. So the goal of this competition is to have more content creators like me to upload their material to commons and include it into Wikipedia articles. This effort seems to be founded by money which was donated by the users. There seems to be a similar project in the english wikipedia. So well at least money is flowing towards the direction of creating more video content. 

Even though these seem to be strong arguments I have the feeling that not the entire Wikipedia community supports this movement – or one could call it strategic move. 1 year ago without knowing about these kind of efforts I have tried to include some of the web science videos to wikipedia articles. For example I included the following video:

to the corresponding wikipedia article it was removed with a statement of saying this would be video SPAM which in my opinion is a little bit of an overreaction.

A summary of the discussion can be taken from my slides of my talk at the german open educational resources conference:
If you are interested you can find the entire discussion at the discussion page of the ethernet frame article

Problems for creating video Content for Commons:

Obviously there is a problem about the copyright. So for example I have pointed out in the past that creating a screencast during lecture on a Windows machine means committing a copyright violation since the the start button and the windows interface by Microsoft EULA are protected by copyright. Also in former discussions at #OER13de we agreed that it is hard to collaboratively edit videos (sorry link in german language) because the software often is not free and wikimedia commons does not support uploading the source files of the videos anyway.


It is not clear if video content will survive in Wikipedia even though some strategic movement is put into that idea. The people who are against this have pretty decent arguments and I also say that it is really hard to have a tool for collaboratively editing video files. If one does not have such tools even access to the source files of the videos would make it hard for people to work on this together. So I am curious to see what the competitions will bring and how the discussions on movies will evolve over time.
At least in wikiversity we are able to use our videos for teaching as we anticipated and I am pretty sure this space won’t be affected by the ongoing discussion.

If you like this post, you might like these related posts:

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