In my previous post, I highlighted the new Scribd store, where authors can sell documents they publish on the Scribd social publishing platform. This is just one of the many digital marketplaces that have popped over over the past few years making it possible for individuals and small organizations to cost-effectively compete with more established media and training publishers. Another one I mention often when speaking is MindBites.
MindBites provides a platform for publishing and selling how-to lessons and video tutorials. The model is pretty straightforward:
- Create an instructional video by using a basic video camera, like the ultra-easy Flip camera, or a screen casting tool like Camtasia
- Upload it into the MindBites system, where it will automatically be optimized for Web delivery
- Categorize it and provide a good title and description (to help make sure you get found and clicked on in the search engines)
- Name your price – which can be from zero to whatever you want. You can even specify that the proceeds go to a favorite charity.
That’s pretty much it, though MindBites does also offer a range of guidance to help authors produce high quality instruction and market it effectively.
In case it is not obvious, a service like this really revolutionizes what it is possible for an individual subject matter expert or small organization to do by providing easy access to three essential components of Web publishing:
- Technology that transforms your content for user-friendly delivery
- A distribution platform that is geared to attract traffic and promote publishers
- An e-commerce engine that handles all of the financial transactions
For providing this, MindBites takes a maximum of 35 percent. Some authors may balk at the percentage, but when you look closely at the time and money you would otherwise invest to publish and sell on the Web, this is not a bad deal. (And it is much better than the terms authors often get on traditional publishing deals.)
If you are a speaker, an author, a trainer, or some other type of individual subject matter expert, MindBites is really worth a look. Likewise if you are a small organization trying to figure out a strategy for publishing and selling content on the Web. Even larger organizations may want to consider it, but at a minimum, they should be sure to take a look at MindBites and understand that this type of site opens up new strategic options for potential competitors.
Hedgehog & Fox