Tuesday, January 4

The call for a "file-wiki"

What we need is a file-wiki. A wiki built specifically and solely for collaboratively collecting information on files such as videos, images and audio.

It's quite clear to me that this idea is on the mark after the recent earthquake / tsunami and the following blog coverage and distribution of video clips.

Think of a filewiki as a central wiki for collecting information about files the way wikipedia is a central information source for encyclopedic knowledge.

The problem

The problem is as such. (As seen in the the case of the tsunami blog coverage.) There are hundreds of first person amateur videos and images floating around on the web. These videos have been re-edited, converted from one format to another, renamed, and been posted to every imaginable website. The stories and information behind these video clips is lost and has very little opportunity of being found. Indeed the tracking of and keeping tabs on these videos is more than any one person can handle, creating a tremendous amount of duplication of effort and a whole lot of wasted bandwidth as people download videos multiple times searching for videos they haven't seen.

What is needed is a centralized wiki where people can:
  • collaboratively add urls for mirrors
  • the system can identify duplicate materials by comparing url / size / name and eventually hash marks of files
  • individuals can collectively add information such as
    • descriptions
    • authors
    • licenses
    • sources
    • authors
    • derivative works
    • comments and conversation
    • and related urls and information

Projects that could benefit from an open source wikified file information gathering resource:

Precedents for central information gathering and tracking repositories with large amounts of open contributions:
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