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article imageFor A Few Clips More: How To Make Money On The Net

By Saikat Basu     Apr 25, 2008 in Internet
In another example of the avenues the internet is providing the rank amateur, a NYT report extols the rise of video sharing. Instructional videos, do-it-yourself, how-to clips have found a burgeoning niche.
Kip Kedersha’s last check read $102,000. He earned it all by uploading 'How-to' video clips on Metacafe, a video-sharing Web site which pays contributors. This contribute and earn model on the internet is not a new craze, and video sharing is commonplace. But Kip's check certainly isn't. In fact, he is one of the top earners on Metcafe. If you want to learn how to super chill a soda or a beer in two minutes flat or how to take a bullet the Hollywood way or for that matter how to turn a MiniMag flashlight into a burning laser pointer then head over to the site and click away. Your click could be amongst the millions which is earning Kip those dollars. The trend of instructional videos is well on the rise. The web throws up a lot of surprises each day. One day it could be something as esoteric as sharing your deep secrets through a postcard and today it seems to be sharing your knowledge with the world. Kip Kedersha is just one of the few in a growing tribe of self styled experts who are taking advantage of the video revolution that is now on in the internet. Mostly amateurs and hobbyists have found in the web a chance to parlay their intimate knowledge for fun or money, or both. As Kip Kedersha says,
" You never know when something like this is going to go away, I better ride the wave.”
Like Kip Kedersha, others too come from diverse backgrounds. Meghan Carter is 23, and she has turned her interest in home decor into a career through 'How To' instructional video clips. From just a dabbler to becoming fully involved in her interest has made her drive around the country to conduct on-camera interviews with experts on subjects ranging from concrete countertops to green homes. You can find her on YouTube under the name AskTheDecorator where she has about 87 videos to her 'assumed' name, teaching everything from 'how to make a bow' to 'how to fold towels so they look just so.' All according to the hit count, enjoying five figured popularity. So how much does Meghan earn from the advertising revenue YouTube shares with her?
“It’s not a real income kind of money. But I have no doubt it is going to take off at some point. We hope that in three years we will have a critical mass of videos that will help us turn a substantial profit.”
Now let's meet Michael Sanchez, a 34-year-old stand-up comedian and video producer from Chicago. The video titles on his resume include - How to cure a hangover (25,000 views on YouTube and 1,000 on Howcast), how to make brown rice (only 465 views). Oh, theirs another one with his girlfriend helping him out - How to kiss with passion (227,000 views on YouTube and 4,600 on Howcast). Not bad for a person who does not drink or cook too much.
YouTube of course is now a byword in itself for video sharing, but their are a plethora of new kids on the block who are riding this current wave. ExpertVillage, HowCast,, VideoJug and Graspr, just to name a few. Their vision is not to be the pretender but the king of the 'How To' video niche. And not surprisingly, like a rash they have hordes of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists behind them. Some like ExpertVillage are not leaving it to the amateurs either. It has created a cache of 90,000 how-to videos, working with independent video producers. Byron Reese, founder of ExpertVillage says,
” It’s what the Internet screams for, people get up in the morning and type, ‘how do I treat a sprained ankle?’ ‘how do I get a bee sting out of a kid’s arm?’ ”
Profits though still remain elusive for many. Though the average uploader admits it’s just for kicks and a few dollars more. Stephen Chao, the chief executive of WonderHowTo, a site that aggregates instructional videos from across the Internet, says many of the clips are as much for entertainment as they are for instruction. In the end, the internet is all about sharing. This is the first time in human history that one can reach out and touch somebody else's life across the globe with just a click of the mouse. It may be a hobby, it may also be just a fad, but knowledge shared is knowledge gained. Wenda Harris Millard, president for media at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has the last word,
"People want to do more things for themselves. It is kind of timely.”
How true. Wouldn't you too love to learn how to chill beer in two minutes flat?
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