“A YouTube for Education”

TeachA startup on the horizon allows anyone to become a teacher and community builder. Teach The People, founded in January with a $300,000 angel around, gives people a platform to spread their knowledge pertaining to any subject. When you register, the site gives you 5 gigs of space to host content, including video lectures, to teach others about any field you are a quasi-expert in.

The company just premiered at TechCrunch40. From TC:

The site encourages quality content by letting users become community creators and by giving users points for rating, referring friends and answering questions. Community creators help create content and run day-to-day community operations. They can charge other users fees for monthly community access, content views or content downloads. They can also share in site advertising revenues.

While there are existing sites that teach you how to do things (eHow.com and VideoJug come to mind), what makes Teach The People interesting is its community building aspect. While other how-to sites simply give you information, Teach The People fosters the creation of communities made up of people interested in learning about specific topics. This makes the site much more social.

It’s unclear, however, if people will be willing to pay a monthly subscription fee for information when there is so much info already out there for free on practically every subject imaginable. I imagine it would only be a small number of very qualified people who create high quality lectures on niche topics that would draw subscribers. No one’s going to pay your neighbor’s kid to teach people what he knows about Spiderman. Also, there are already places on the web where you can go to find video lectures: Videolectures.net (clever, huh?) has a variety of free lectures with a focus on computer science, Princeton University streams lectures from their website on a wide number of topics, tons of math lectures can be found here, etc. Granted, there isn’t currently a site that aggregates all of these videos, but the content is out there, right now, for free.

Teach The People hasn’t yet officially launched to the public, although you can register for the private beta from their site.

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