“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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view - TechCrunch40 write up

Technorati Tags: web 2.0



TugLink : Social job finders network

TugLink.com is an online social job search community where members help each other land interviews for desired jobs. Thus, a job-seeker can find his dream job on a job board or corporate web site, post it on TugLink.com, “name the price” (i.e. announce a referral bonus), interview for the job, and get hired for it (video here). People familiar with the business describe TugLink.com as “Monster.com meets MySpace.com”. - Contributed by Vadim Nemtsev, Founder of TugLink Inc.


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TiECon Southwest 2007 Wrap up

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The TiECon Southwest 2007 “Entrepreneurship Now, New, Next” conference, which took place in Anaheim, on September 15th, 2007, was, by all accounts a successful conference. The DoubleTree ball room was packed with a capacity turnout. A full day of talks and discussion panels, was followed by a networking mixer.

The keynotes were delivered by Sean Parker, Andy Bird and Promod Haque. Each of the speakers had a very unique approach to their talks, which were delivered to a group composed largely of entrepreneurs.

Sean Parker’s (Napster, Plaxo, Facebook) keynote in the form of a chat, brought out a person who was very sharp, and understood what it takes to succeed in the rather nebulous area of social networking. It also showed a person who is charmingly unwilling to wear the mantle of grandeur that no doubt gets thrown upon him regularly. He described his experiences at Napster (he portrayed that more as a learning experience rather than than a huge hit for him), Plaxo (he described it as a rather mundane business ) and of course the very successful Facebook in which he played a key role.

In a chat over dinner the evening before the conference, Sean Parker spoke very excitedly about his pet cause, Project Agape, a philanthropy focused company that has launched an app on Facebook, called “Causes on Facebook”. “Causes” allows people to launch their own charitable projects, and allows them to use the Facebook platform to rally people around their cause.

TiECon Soutwest 2007 conference.
Packed auditorium at the TiECon Southwest 2007: Photo Scott Witt

Andy Bird, president of Disney International has a very engaging way of speaking, and also an uncanny ability to gauge what the audience wants to hear, and tailoring his presentation accordingly. Andy spoke about Disney’s plans for expansion in foreign markets. Disney not only recognizes the potential of each of these markets, but also sees the need to “speak the language” and customize their offerings in each country.

Promod Haque of Norwest Ventures is clearly a person who is king of his domain. He has helped finance and build many large companies, and he was willing to share with the audience what goes into picking good companies. There was a seemingly awkward moment when a question was posed to him from the audience asking if he would talk about any of his investments that went bad. Promod laughed at that and mentioned that there were several investments in his portfolio that did not turn out as well as they were supposed to, infusing a sense of much needed realism in the venture capital mystique.

Each of the six panels on Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, Life Sciences, Media and Entertainment, Future Technology and Doing business in India, drew a lot of interested attendees.The evening was capped off with a networking mixer.


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BrightQube: A new way to find photos

BrightQube is a site for selling photos - but with a twist. The website features an innovative layout that displays a large number of pictures in a photo mosaic. An Ajax interface allows you to zoom in and out of the mosaic, and pick out the picture you need without having to go through page after page of photos to find the one that you are looking for (such as at Istockphoto).

BrightQube helps sellers get their images found and sold . Individual photographers will be able to upload their photos to the site. BrightQube also lists inventory from several large partners.

BrightQube is about the way you find photos . Photographers are used to looking at large numbers of photos or slides laid out on table tops. The eye has an uncanny ability to pick out the best or most appropriate picture in a parallel fashion, which is much quicker than scanning pictures one by one.

brightqube photo mosaic

BrigthQube focuses on replicating this ability of the brain, in its image viewer, which can very quickly and interactively zoom in and out of the dynamic photo mosaic, rather like google maps. Although there is also a picture search engine, it is used secondarily to narrow down the field of pictures.

The BrightQube web site is not operational currently. The company is expected to present at Tech Crunch 20 (now Tech Crunch 40) on September 17th.

BrightQube has previously received series A funding.


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