Graspr Steps into the Crowded Instructional Video Ring

Teresa Phillips, founder and CEO of Graspr and one-time Yahoo VP, says that “Graspr is not just another video site or social networking community.” I’m not so sure.

The company has granted me access to Graspr prior to its presentation at Demo this afternoon and its public unveiling later this evening. I’ve kicked the tires, and while Graspr explicitly claims to be “the social media and learning company with the Internet’s largest user-generated video showcase for instructional content,” the site could probably be rebranded for any other purpose involving video and members.

This would be totally fine if there didn’t already exist a good video social network for instructional content. But several good ones do exist, including 5min, eHow, Sclipo, SuTree, Expert Village, Instructables, and VideoJug.

To be sure, Graspr works well enough. Everything revolves around instructional videos, so in many ways its like YouTube, et al. In addition to simply browsing and viewing videos, users can jump to particular scenes within videos, add notes to video segments, view related videos, open supplementary files attached to videos, and participate in discussion threads and chat rooms attached to the videos.

On the social networking side of things, users can create profiles and make friends. Their profile pages show all of the videos they have contributed, any of which can be grouped into series.

I’m tempted to label Graspr YASN, but to be fair they will provide an online video editing tool, which helps to differentiate them (well, maybe not from YouTube itself). They also have an ad-revenue sharing scheme in place to incentivise the production of content. I only wish their were more innovative aspects to Graspr that could get me more excited about it.

Update: One of our readers, Tony Hirst, has designed a search interface to crawl all of the instructional video websites mentioned in this article. Check it out.