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7/23/2007
11:30 AM
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VideoJug: Video With Veracity

It's a lot of fun to catch the latest user videos on YouTube, but you can never be certain about the verisimilitude of the information you're getting. A new site called VideoJug is determined to become the expert version of YouTube -- a place where you can find how-to videos from various experts for everything from etiquette to eBay to earthquake survival.

It's a lot of fun to catch the latest user videos on YouTube, but you can never be certain about the verisimilitude of the information you're getting. A new site called VideoJug is determined to become the expert version of YouTube -- a place where you can find how-to videos from various experts for everything from etiquette to eBay to earthquake survival.I checked it out the other day, and it isn't bad at all. Topics range from the important ("Diabetes: Complications And Conditions") to the mildly useful ("How To Find Time To Write") to the outright silly ("How To Get Into Hogwarts"). The videos are professionally produced -- in other words, the production values are several notches above that of your typical YouTube offering -- and, in the case of the most serious informational series, feature professionals in their fields.

One does get the feeling that what is emphasized in each video depends on what the expert in question feels is important -- or what the perceived interest of the audience is. For example, when I checked out the video on Computer Printers And Ink, a subject with which I am reasonably proficient, the featured expert (Ali Nasri, listed as "Computer Specialist, Mac 911 Inc.") explained what an inkjet printer was in a relatively concise couple of sentences, and concentrated more on how printer companies make most of their money on ink rather than on hardware -- which is an appropriate use of time if you're addressing consumers rather than tech geeks.

Videos are accompanied by indices, so you can go directly to the question you have rather than having to wade through the entire production; you can also download audio versions, leave comments, and get biographical information about the featured experts.

Altogether, not a bad place to go when you want to get some info or advice via video, and want to know that the advice isn't coming from somebody who heard it from somebody who got it from Uncle Al.

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