Figure out how to ______ with WonderHowTo

Web site shows how to do (almost) anything in the world.

With video search being what it is (see Truveo, Blinx, etc.), we're possibly over the need for video how-to sites that simply compile from other sources. However, I wanted to write about video how-to site WonderHowTo because it's got a great collection of clips, and an even better way to sort through them--maybe more so than your standard video search tool.

Each category goes about two levels deep, but that second level is where all the care has been taken. For example, if you dig into Arts & Crafts, there are 13 different subcategories, each of which has been meticulously sorted. You can divide up the results even more with tags and keywords. There are also alternate ways to explore videos related to what you're watching with a little sidebar of clips that sits to the left, and will continue to play down the list as each video finishes.

WonderHowTo's categories go deep. From basic bartending to preparation for terrorist attacks.

Unlike some how-to sites that create content that can only be found there (see HowCast), nearly all of the content found on WonderHowTo is picked from video hosts like YouTube. In fact, the submission process doesn't actually let you upload a how-to video you've made, and instead just lets you drop in a URL where it will slurp up the video and house it with its grading wrapper. What's neat is that you can give the video a new title and description, much like Digg and other user news sites, which has led to some more useful or simply entertaining creations than the video author may have originally intended.

The service recently introduced little widgets you can drop on your blog. Each widget can be set up to show the daily featured videos, but you can also set it up to show off your latest playlist. Unfortunately the videos don't play within the widget. You can, however, run a search from inside the widget, which is a nice touch.

Between all the various how-to video sites (see: 5Min, VideoJug, Instructables, Graspr, Sclipo, and SuTree), the staying power of WonderHowTo is in its curation. The service has a full-time curator alongside the users who are pumping in content and categorizing it, but without providing a way for people to add their own bits without having to go through another service first, it's missing out on a chance to offer some of the depth offered from competitors like HowCast, which have really innovative ways to change the way people are interacting with these user-created instructional videos.

Learn how to do almost anything with WonderHowTo. Its categorization and player controls are top notch. Missing however is a simple way to add videos you've created. (click to enlarge) CNET Networks
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About the author

Josh Lowensohn joined CNET in 2006 and now covers Apple. Before that, Josh wrote about everything from new Web start-ups, to remote-controlled robots that watch your house. Prior to joining CNET, Josh covered breaking video game news, as well as reviewing game software. His current console favorite is the Xbox 360.

 

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