The YouTube for thinkers

Featured on YouTube Thursday morning was a humorous rap song about a young man buying a prized Wii, a self-explanatory clip titled "Scottie Tails: My Date with Barney, the First Dog," and, seemingly out of place, a video on world peace from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Featured on the new FORA.tv video portal are clips from a VIP dinner the night of the State of the Union address, a talk by former President Jimmy Carter on C-SPAN and a presentation on global warming by a quantum physicist.

With content from the likes of the Council on Foreign Relations, The Brookings Institution, the Commonwealth Club, the World Affairs Council, the Cato Institute, the Hoover Institution and a host of museums, bookstores and universities, FORA.tv is a digital forum where people can get and discuss information on public affairs, politics and culture, as well as see historic speeches and other events.

"We want to create a global community of intellectually curious people," says Brian Gruber, president and chief executive of FORA.tv.

The site has helpful features like chapters that separate sections of video by topic or speaker and synchronized transcription, which allows people to type in a keyword and go directly to the place in the video where the keyword is mentioned. There are also video blogs, profiles on speakers and public discussion boards.

FORA.tv, funded by a group of investors led by William Randolph Hearst III, expects to make money from advertisements and sponsorships, sales to institutions, licensing of its proprietary video player and by producing videos for others. The site also will eventually offer premium subscriptions for things like mobile access, service with reduced advertising, enhanced TV or screen viewing and the ability to archive or download video.

 

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