COMPUTER RESEARCH & TECHNOLOGY
What is ViewDo? ViewDo Helps People Help Themselves
Want to know how to fix a flat tyre, tie a double Windsor knot, fold a shirt in 3.2 seconds or, maybe, even do a back flip? Even if you're not a DIYer type, do I have the Web site for you! It's called ViewDo, and you can find it at http://www.viewdo.com.
ViewDo.com is an online centre for instructional videos. The site is intended to give users a "one-stop shop" for finding, posting and downloading step-by-step videos.
With social networking, advertising, and an eye toward product placement and manufacturer partnerships, this how-to video website is one with plenty of growth potential.
The new website is geared toward instructional videos that can be downloaded onto portable media devices in order to, according to the site, "simplify the process of how-to projects."
What kinds of Videos can I expect to see? Are there beginner and advanced video instructions? As you might expect, the videos themselves are extremely varied and go from being reasonably amateurish to quite sophisticated in their production quality. They also vary quite a lot in length - from a couple of minutes on how to jump start a car's battery to about 6 minutes on how to change your computers hard drive. There was one about five minutes long on changing an electrical outlet and one of about 1 minute duration on doing a Purl Stitch whilst knitting - very informative.
Each video contains a description, length, tools required, estimated time to complete, and cost to complete. If you wish, there's also a place to add your own comments and a link to download the video. For instance changing a screen door was estimated as:
Interestingly the site also has an addition to the videos themselves by way of user forums, some of which included requests on "How to Milk a Cow" and "How to Break Dance" and "How to Brew Beer", to name but a few. It also has Links to Contributors and a page for submitting your own ViewDos as well as a Web Log or blog.
But On-Line Videos are not new are they? Haven't Videos been around for quite a while on the Internet? Yes absolutely online videos are nothing new, but being able to see instructions in video form and actually take them with you is a different approach. After a user finds a particular how-to video they are looking for, ViewDo then also allows them to download the content to, say, a mobile phone an iPod or other portable device which then allows them to take the instructions with them and follow the steps at their own pace.
The ViewDo developers say that one of the best benefits of ViewDo is that it shows people how devices like iPods®, which until now have been primarily used for music or entertainment purposes, can double as a very valuable tool.
By downloading "how-to" videos to your computer and then transferring them to your video iPod you can take instructional videos where you need them most, in the workshop, in the garden, on the field, in the kitchen, wherever you need it most. As they say "when you need to know how to change a flat tire, it's not exactly convenient to run back and forth between the nearest computer and your car. With ViewDo, you can download the simple tutorial to your portable media device, take it with you to your car, and watch the video as many times and at whatever pace you need until you get the job done."
How do you get to use ViewDo - any special requirements? You do have to register to download or upload videos on the site. However you can go ahead and view them to see if there is something you like without any registration process. You will need to provide things like your birth date and your postcode; strangely they don't require your name. They then give you a confirmation code and you can go ahead and log in.
Once you've logged in, you can view the most popular videos on the front page, or, if you prefer, you can mosey along and browse through the categories of "DoPartments" - get it, "DoPartments" playing on the "can do" theme - ok, never mind. The DoPartments include arts, auto, computer, electronics, fitness, and food, among others.
As always, how much does this cost? So far at least it's free. Seems like the developers are going to derive their income from advertising on the site, but with a twist. Firstly the content is created by consumers, driven by a social networking model that rewards sharing of knowledge by featuring contributors and their how-to knowledge.
Secondly, the advertising, they suggest the goal is to make advertising as transparent to the end user as possible, and that the users see the linked advertising as a resource and not a nuisance.
The third area of potential growth is hosting product instructional videos for the manufacturers themselves. Manufacturers could choose to replace the included instructional video with a link to the ViewDo site to save on production costs and expand their reach and ensure the latest version was always available.
Keep up to date with the latest in the IT/Communications industry by listening to ABC Local Radio on FM107.1, every Tuesday morning at 9.15AM.
Computer Research & Technology Managing Director Arthur Hissey and Morning Host Janice McGilchrist will be discussing current matters of interest and future directions in the IT industry.
Transcripts of these discussions and other topics are available, just click on the links.
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