For learners looking to the internet for guidance, one-off blog posts and quick DIY solutions can be frustrating and unsatisfying. But a new start up called Gibbon is trying to make sense of content that comes from a variety of disparate sources by finding and curating the best.
According to Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch, Gibbon is a Dutch start up formed when a design and development agency decided to turn their attention to a side project full-time, and it features curated learning playlists to help anyone teach themselves just about anything.
"We [the founding team of Gibbon] are all self-educated, and we learned from posts shared on the web, including blog posts, videos tutorials and things," explained Gibbon CEO and co-founder Wouter de Bres. "We came to the point where beginning designers and programmers started to ask us what they should read and watch to become a programmer or a designer, and for us that was the point at which we thought we should have a platform to facilitate this."
Users sign up on Gibbon and then collect articles, links, and videos and then share those resources. "Becoming a better photographer," "Learning CSS3," "On Typography," and "3D Printing" are some of the sample playlists available on the site right now, which has been running for three months in private beta as it builds a library full for day one of the public launch.
"It's all peer-to-peer, so everyone can be a student and a teacher, and I think that's already happening generally in the world," Wouter explained. "You have stuff that you need to learn, and you have some stuff that you think that others should read or watch. And nowadays I think that everything you need to know or want to know is on the web, and all that's required is just for someone to create a path for you."
While Wouter acknowledges that education startups like Coursera has something to offer, but he believes that there is more to learn from Gibbon from what's currently scattered on the web. For instance, posts from working designers while relating practical experience in bite-sized installments, might be more valuable than content coming from someone who's a full-time educator, instructor or academic.
Discovering useful content is made easier by having a fit-for-purpose product, and based on the number of people who engage with those lists there's a built-in quality metric: More students on any one playlist means that it will rise to the top of search results.
Gibbon plans to monetize playlists as it envisions them being used by companies to offer up training materials specific to different departments. According to Wouter, this setup is expected to be rolled out early next year has already been asked for by potential customers.