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Powhow: Former Googler Unveils An Online Marketplace For Live, Webcam Classes

April 11, 2012 | Hogan Keyser
powhow_screenshot.pngApril 10, 2012 by Rip Emerson via TechCrunch.com -- As VoIP, chat, and web-based videoconferencing solutions expand their reach, we've seen a corresponding growth in both the remote workforce and telecommuting. Not only that, but these technologies are beginning to disrupt education, as startups like Khan Academy, 2tor, ShowMe, Udemy, Lynda.com, and the Minerva Project are all showing how video and advanced web platforms can turn distance learning into an elegant and truly valuable supplement (if not alternative) to learning.

However, while these startups (and more) offer distance learning options in the traditional academic sense, many people are interested in pursuing other hobbies or activities, like, say, boosting workout regimens, or learning how to cook, or box, or how to draw your favorite cartoon characters. However, the problem is that we're all busy, and it can be tough to find the time to sign up for those classes at the gym, and, while YouTube likely offers some instructional videos in the category of your choice, there's a lot of noise, and the experience is far from personalized.

That's why a New York-based startup called Powhow is launching its public beta today, which aims to allow anyone and everyone (with a webcam) to find and take classes in subjects like fitness, cooking, music, arts, DIY, and crafting from curated rosters of professional, credentialed instructors all over the world. During its private beta, over 600 students and instructors have been using Powhow to bake souffles, learn to play heavy metal guitar, sew bikinis, and sculpt abs.

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