The thinking person's YouTube

Tech Culture

YouTube is great for entertainment, but it's not the ideal place to look for an instructional video you can actually use. That's where VideoJug comes in.

The site, which launched in beta version a few days ago, aims to be the ultimate source of video instruction on just about anything imaginable, from identifying cancer to cooking pasta. "We are building a living encyclopedia of life, on video," the site proclaims.

Unlike most video-sharing communities, VideoJug produces its own instructional work, as well as gather and index videos submitted by the public. Many of them are produced with a relatively high level of sophistication--which raises an interesting question: Could VideoJug be a natural partner for other forms of media?

If the site becomes a popular hub, for example, it could conceivably be a central repository for how-to videos affiliated with various cable TV channels, such as the Food Network (recipes), ESPN (tennis lessons) and fashion channels (sewing). As VideoJug rightly points out, the easiest way to learn is by watching someone else do it.

An opposite scenario could also occur, whereby everyone becomes competition for the site. And, as Pete Cashmore wrote on Mashable!, VideoJug may have a tough time finding enough high-quality free content necessary to become a video archive of record.

"I think they're going to have problems getting users to contribute content: how-to videos are much harder to make than funny lip-synching clips, and the contributors probably won't be your typical teenage YouTube demographic," Cashmore points out. "I think it's a nice effort--I'm just not sure how much demand there will be."

That, however, might be VideoJug's best selling point: Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to have a site that went in the opposite direction from YouTube.

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