MonkeySee, a new Web site that provides how-to videos on various topics ranging from sports to cooking to home repair, will launch officially Monday.
The Web site is the brainchild of Great Falls, Va.-based Knowlera Media, a start-up founded by Greg Letourneau, former director of product marketing and strategy for video encoding supplier Anystream, and entrepreneur Will Jerro.
The company is using low-cost Sony HDV high-definition cameras and Apple Final Cut editing software to produce thousands of videos that feature experts explaining how to perform a task through a series of three- to five-minute video clips. Experts -- found through hobby sites and networking sites like craigslist -- include chefs from steakhouse Morton’s and Olympic Games figure skater Michael Weiss.
“We’re reaching out practically everywhere,” said Letourneau, CEO of Knowlera.
Access to the videos is free, and MonkeySee aims to make money by syndicating the videos and selling contextual advertising against them. Knowlera began shooting videos about eight months ago, mainly using one-man production crews in the Washington, D.C., area. It is also soliciting videos from aspiring filmmakers -- more than 1,000 have signed up since it started the program one month ago.
MonkeySee has amassed more than 4,000 videos to date, Letourneau said, which it is offering in the 16:9 widescreen format and encoding at an average bit rate of about 500 kilobits per second using Anystream software. It has also contracted with workers in India to provide transcripts to go along with the videos, which will allow Monkeysee.com to offer instruction in various languages if desired.