MetaCafe just announced the launch of a fascinating new experiment it's calling WikiCafe - the ability for any registered user to "edit, enhance, and even translate video tags, descriptions, and other types of metadata."Popular video sharing website
Somehow Metacafe has a much lower idiot-to-civil commenter ratio than YouTube, where we can only imagine what kind of disaster such an experiment could lead to. For MetaCafe, though, this could be another experiment that works out really well.
Hiting the "edit options" button that appears above every video leads to three buttons appearing. Edit video details, translate and "advanced wiki." The advanced wiki is a MediaWiki page dedicated to discussion about each video. Unfortunately editing those pages requires another account creation and login. We don't expect to see them utilized extensively.
MetaCafe's History of Experimentation
MetaCafe is no clone of YouTube. The company was offering a revenue share to a large portion of their top users since October 2006 through the successful Producers' Rewards program.
Unlike YouTube, MetaCafe said it had an exclusive focus on user generated content. And most unlike YouTube, the company employed an army of video editors to vet, highlight and keep an eye on all the content coming through the site. All of these strategies have worked quite well for the company, whose founders have cashed out to investors, as well.
But a Wiki for Video Metadata?
Could this possibly work? There's no clear explanation yet about how the site will handle versioning or the other nitty gritty of the wiki way - but we're sure they've got plans. The prospect of users enriching show descriptions and categorization is a really exciting one.
Translation of metadata from one language to another is a valiant idea - but translation is something that other sites like DotSub (subtitles) and Lingro (dictionaries) have figured out great ways to do already. We have a hard time imagining that the translation that can go on at MetaCafe will come close to what can be done by those other communities.
Who knows where it will all lead, though. It's a brave step by MetaCafe. Who's next to allow users to edit file metadata?