Ramblings, citations and "brainwaves" of a college librarian in Toronto. 475 square feet refers to the size of my home, not the size of my office or library.

Self Help Websites - Collected by iLibrarian

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SuTree calls itself a “knowledge community”, and indeed it is; this Israel-based DIY service indexes short how-to video lessons, lectures, and tutorials from across the Web. Members of the SuTree community can link to, tag, and categorize lessons in the form of videos, Flash presentations, PowerPoint files, audio-only files, and more. Community users can provide content ratings, comment on lessons, and send lessons to friends. Fans of the website can add a SuTree search box widget to their website or blog.

Instructables launched in 2005 and was founded by a group of MIT Media Lab alums who formed a company called Squid Labs. This step-by-step instructional website provides a space for users to contribute detailed tutorials on hands-on projects ranging from how to build an electric racing car, to creating an invisible book shelf, to how to make a RFID pet food access control system. Instructables mainly consist of images uploaded and placed into step-by-step order by the author and accompanied by instructions, but may also contain video files from Google, Yahoo! and YouTube.

5min is a place for people to watch and share DIY videos which are no longer than 5 minutes long. An interesting feature of the 5min website is their Smart Player which lets viewers watch vids in slow motion, zoom in and out, view the frame-by-frame, or storyboard view. Each member of 5min is assigned a “Studio” or user profile where their work is displayed, and can upload videos, tag, and categorize them, as well as create storyboards for their videos. Users can subscribe to others’ studios, rate videos, leave comments, create favorites, send tutorials to friends, or send messages to other members. The 5min community has RSS feeds througout for those who are interested in subscribing, and they also offer vid URLs and embed code to post your favorite lessons to a variety of social networks, blogs, or websites

Presents professionally produced how-to and ask-the-expert short films on topics ranging from how to tie a Windsor knot, to managing debt, to buying a home. VideoJug shares their expert advice through 26,000 videos in over 100 subjects and also lets members upload their own instructional videos and photo slideshow tutorials which they review. Videos are available for download to iPod, PSP, or cell phones, as well as viewable on the website and many are accompanied by printable transcripts or user tips. Community members can email video lessons to friends, favorite vids on the website or through major social bookmarking websites, place user ratings, make comments, suggest alternate titles for films, etc.

This Barcelona-based DIY video-sharing website sees members contributing tips on everything from how to solve a Rubik’s Cube to how to play the drums. Tutorial creators can tag and categorize their videos as well as map their location within a Google map. All users have a user profile page called an Academie and community members can message each other, subscribe to one another, rate video lessons, leave comments, favorite videos, send vids to friends, and leave monetary “tips” for other users who have indicated their Paypal addresses. Sclipo makes video URLs and embed code available for those who want to post video lessons to other websites. A unique feature of the website is the Sclip Live service which enables teachers to join and hold live instructional sessions with their students.

An instructional video service geared toward teachers, TeacherTube launched in March 2007 and offers a community space for sharing educational videos. Run by a family of educators and set up much like the YouTube interface, TeacherTube provides channels, over 200 groups, playlist capabilities, friends, and detailed user profiles. These educational vids range in topic from the Emancipation Proclamation to the physics of golf. Lesson creators can tag and place their videos into appropriate category channels, as well as make them public or private, and attach support files such as documents and presentations. Community members can add videos to favorites, email to friends, and add content ratings.

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