I came across the site UDEMY through the week and am intrigued by the idea:
"There are millions of experts everywhere, and we provide them with the tools to share their knowledge online. Udemy gives instructors the ability to use video, PowerPoint, articles, and blog posts to build rich courses. They can even host virtual conferences with students. People spend $9 billion on casual learning each year, and another $20 billion on continuing and professional education. We can catalyze that market to move online, and provide forums that create in-depth learning experiences about everything from Thai cooking to calculus to Esperanto. We launched in May 2010 and more than 2,000 courses have been created. We’re introducing a pay platform so our instructors can decide if they want to charge for their courses, but we expect 80% will remain free. The education industry is very top-down, but this has the power to change that."
It is a very interesting notion, but it will have to differentiate from simple video sites and there is a question of the end game of the content creator. If a author simply wants to sell more books – then a medium such as YouTube is more effective due to broad reach. However, if I am an educational institution or an educator/presenter, there is a revenue opportunity and it is a neat idea – that I can go and provide a high quality web course at a low one time cost.
There is also the potential draw of the website being educationally orientated and focused – a place to easily find course content. Which leads to the question, how do they keep it focused and vet quality? For example, while I enjoyed the ‘course’ Fun with Posters and Charts, is this really a course? Not really, it is more appropriate for a site like slideshare.
That being said, a site I will watch.
PS: Loved the slideshare ‘10 Ways to Suck at Social Media’, great piece for companies.