As any savvy 21st century customer knows – yeah, there's an app for that.
There are applications for ordering donuts. Applications for casting spells. Applications for doing your hair; applications for baking cookies. And now – drum roll, please – there's an application for collecting and sorting knowledge. "Transform what you know into something more!" is the slogan of Knowledge Genie, a website launched late last month by serial entrepreneurs, consultants, and authors Milo and Thuy Sindell.
The theory behind the Genie – which could soon be transformed into an application for hand-held devices – is simple: You have information. The world wants information. And yet teaching the world what you know, in these hectic Internet days, is not always such an easy thing to do. Some folks use YouTube to hold forth on the best way to tie a tie, and some folks build their own websites from scratch.
Knowledge Genie, on the other hand, provides a pre-made template for potential instructors. In this way, the site is not unlike a blog: users can use different color schemes, fonts, and background imagery, to personalize the space. The difference is in how the content is displayed. On a typical website, a tutorial might be formatted in linear form – a list, for instance. On Knowledge Genie, the information you plug into the back-end of the site appears on the front-end as an interactive, click-through application, where each piece of information is collected as a "lesson unit."
Sounds wonky, but the whole thing is surprisingly easy and fast to use. And for many users, it's free. (Users will only be required to pay if they want to sell access to their tutorial to other users; for the rest of us, Knowledge Genie doesn't cost a cent.) In an interview on Wednesday with socaltech.com, Milo Sindell talked a bit about the target audience.
"There are three broad markets. It's anybody or any organization with a body of knowledge. That could be an expert, a consultant, an author – it's a great way to bring knowledge to life," he said. "If you've written a book, it can help reinforce that knowledge. For an educator, it helps to bring classroom training to life.... The last is for organizations, where they can use this for sales training, as well as for an alternative learning management system, so that any individual or manager can quickly and easily develop programs for their employees or customers."
What Sindell didn't say in that interview is that there's a fourth category – the amateur who knows a whole lot about something completely obscure. Like cream cheese. Or plastic frogs. Or apple juice. Can't those people enjoy Knowledge Genie too?