Wednesday, 14th March 2012
Video site Grovo is taking a new approach to providing tutorial content about the web - promising that their up-to-date content makes Google searches for similar topics look stale by comparison. But does it come at too high a price?
There might be few things more irritating on the internet than self-proclaimed social media gurus, but one New York start-up is looking to end their reign of terror. Grovo has hundreds and hundreds of free, short tutorial videos to help you train yourself up on a variety of social media topics. The topics covered aren't just the usual Facebook and Twitter though. There are specialist videos devoted to topics like general “netiquette”, tools like Dropbox and Gmail, and even such established internet giants as Amazon.
A key advantage they claim to have over a basic Google search for information is that Google will often throw up tutorials and guides written over the last few years, whereas the sites being talked about make changes to their functionality all the time. Grovo promise to keep all of their lessons and courses up-to-date, reassuring you that you really are learning about the latest techniques.
One note of caution – a lot of the courses are free, but access to some of the ones of real business value require a premium subscription. At the moment that is priced at $9 or $99 annually. The courses behind the subscription have a focus on web marketing and productivity tools, and there is a 24 hour free trial to assess their worth.
The site also allows you to sign in using Facebook, rather than setting up a specific account, and it publishes the courses you've taken to your Facebook Timeline, potentially a public record of how you are improving your internet skills. You are able to set those updates to "only me" though, so you don't necessarily have to share with everybody that you've been bluffing your way through some web basics.
Grovo keep a public list of what is new and what is being scheduled to appear. At the time of writing forthcoming free video courses included using the Mint iPhone money managing app, video editing on YouTube, and how to get started with Spotify for the desktop. Premium courses included using the advertising features within StumbleUpon and some advanced uses of Wordpress.
It looks like it could be a useful resource – but don't forget, judicious use of the advanced search facilities on YouTube will also turn up plenty of tutorial content on similar topics. Putting the videos of most potential value behind a subscription may limit the appeal of the service.
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