Graspr is a new video service which provides a platform for anyone to upload their ‘how-to’ videos for the world to share. You want to learn how to skateboard backwards singing the French national anthem? Cool. You want to teach people how to fillet macaroni cheese? No problem. There’s a bunch of these sites out there, and we’ve featured a fair few, but what made us sit up and take notice with this one is the beautifully clean design, and the raft of rather cool and valuable features baked in to the site from the start.
Those who are just browsing the videos get a beautifully easy to use interface, an accurate search engine and the chance to access ‘collections’ which are basically playlists of similar videos grouped together for easy watching. Of course, as with every current application like this, there are people oriented features such as communities, featured producers, ratings and comments, but it would be unfair to dismiss them as merely window dressing, as they are in many other Web 2.0 apps. In Graspr they really feel like they’re an authentic part of the whole application.
Example – the ratings system not only offers up simple star ratings, but also lets the viewer rate the learning experience, how good the teacher was, whether the production was entertaining and so on. This kind of attention to detail turns a ‘me-too’ feature into something that really has value, and it’s easily accessible via the ratings tab on the video main page.
But where the application really shines is in the video producer features. Not only is there a great video upload tool available to supplement a web one, but also a bunch of cool tools to help producers improve the quality of the content. For instance the video remixer is a masterpiece of programming, as it manages to cram a really sophisticated and yet simple video editor into a single interface. After you upload your video clip, you can add transitions, background audio and even text slides to help explain your tutorial. You can also attach other files, such as PDF or MS Word or Excel.
The only negative I have is not being able to find a way to upload a separate audio track in case you need one to supplement the video audio, but it’s a small point really. The other interesting feature for producers is a revenue share. The site will share advertising revenues 30% for producers, 30% for those who embed the videos on their site which means that there’s an added incentive to produce not just content, but good content that others will want to share and use. There’s also a traditional affiliate scheme as you might expect.
All in all I really like this new service a lot, and with the right luck and a few breakthrough videos it will hopefully take off nicely. The site already features around 20,000 video tutorials from around the world, split into 17 categories, but it’s only when the users start to get involved in earnest that things will start popping. There’s a lot of competition out there, and the hosting costs of this type of service are not trivial, but the winners should end up with a nice solid business once they crack the momentum problem. Very nice!
Graspr is an online video community that offers high quality instructional content on a wide range of topics. Our mission is to make the world a smarter place by bringing together people who possess different kinds of expertise, and helping them share what they know with others. We want to make knowledge more accessible, and thus empower users to explore new interests, cultivate new skills, and become even more proficient in the subjects they know well.