Sunday, July 12, 2009

My Year of Hopefulness - How-to with Howcast

Sunday morning is my favorite time of the week. I feel rested from Saturday, likely had a great time out with friends on Saturday evening, and I relax on Sunday morning doing anything that makes me happy. Usually it's getting my coffee and reading the New York Times. Throw in a great feature story on CBS Sunday Morning, and I'm smiling from ear to ear all day. Sundays are a gift I treasure.

In this morning's New York Times, I read about Howcast, a new company with a noble, elegant mission: "Howcast shows consumers engaging, useful how-to videos and guides wherever, whenever they need to learn how." Its sole goal is to help people help themselves with just about anything. The range of content is immense: some are very serious, even life-saving, informative clips (how to treat someone for shock) while others are flat-out hilarious (how to fight off a vampire). The platform is easy to use and has a clean design. The videos are short and succinct. Best of all, community members can add how-to videos of their own, so if you have an expertise that you want to share with the world, now you have a clever platform to do it.

Some of my favorites from this morning's hunt through Howcast:
How to Survive a Bear Attack - I was laughing out loud
Fantastic collection of Yoga poses - their sports and fitness collection is extensive, from how to dribble a soccer ball to how to roast the ultimate marshmallow
Websites an resources on how to learn a foreign language
How to get your home ready for a dog

The search function is robust; I found the info I needed quickly. The load times of the videos were much shorter than I expected and the resolution is high. There are also wikiguides on topics should you choose to read the information rather than watch a video. And while other sites require account creation with a username and password, Howcast can sync with a Facebook account, allowing users to participate immediately to comment, vote, and favorite videos. Whether you're looking for useful, timely info or a source of smart entertainment, Howcast provides it anywhere you are, exactly when you need it. DIY really is the new luxury and Howcast helps you get it.

Follow them on Twitter @howcast.

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