Ryan Chartrand

Have you ever been so frustrated with something and wished there was a tool at your fingertips to help you figure it out? Well, now there is. Viewdo.com is a free site with “how-to” videos for portable devices like iPods and cell phones, and contains everything from how to fit an egg into a milk bottle to the art of beer pong.

Viewdo.com, which is growing in popularity around the world, was founded by two Cal Poly graduates. Gordy Wray graduated from Cal Poly in 2002 with a degree in architectural engineering and co-founder Alan Puccinelli in 2001 with a degree in industrial technology.

“We (the site) have about 200 videos right now with over 3,000 registered users,” Wray said. “We made probably 30 or 40 of those and the rest are all coming from outside sources.”

The site was first launched in July 2006 after Puccinelli had an epiphany in January, Wray said. “He was trying to install an iPod converter into his car…he thought if he had a video on how to take apart his dash it would be helpful.”

“(I thought) this would be really nice if there was a video I could have on my iPod rather than have to run back and forth from the computer to my car,” Puccinelli said. “It kind of started as a hobby idea and then I kind of took the idea a step further.”

People have responded to the sight quite favorably, Puccinelli said. “I think everybody is always happy to have some insight on how to do something.”

The site is open to anyone looking for videos or wanting to upload a video of their own, the only requirement is that it’s how-to based and not a health threat or illegal.

“The majority of the content on the site is provided by enthusiastic amateurs looking to gain Internet notoriety and corporate content providers looking to gain brand exposure,” Wray wrote in an e-mail. “Everyone knows how to do something, and we would love to have some Cal Poly knowledge shared with the world.”

“We look for enthusiastic amateurs as well as experts,” Wray said. “We welcome all types of production content, whether it’s a single shot made on a digital still camera into movie mode, or people who have more expensive editing to put different videos together for us.”

The site also includes 14 DoPartments, which separate the videos into categories ranging from arts and crafts to tips and tricks. Wray said that their education DoPartment is growing and hopes that the site will eventually become a tool for students who need to do projects. Students could come up with a how-to topic, present it to their class in video form and then submit it on the site, Wray wrote. “This would give students an opportunity to refine their public speaking skills, get some film and editing experience and have something lasting to show for it.”

Another feature the site offers is a request tab. Users can request videos they would like information on and then other users can search through the requests and make videos for things they know how to do.

Puccinelli said that the next step for the site will be to invest in a more robust infrastructure since they are almost at the capacity of their current servers.

The site is a visual opportunity for people who need help with something, or for users to put their knowledge into video form to benefit others. The site relies on sponsorships and advertising to remain free for users, ther Web site said.

Like a picture is worth a thousand words, “a view do’s worth a thousand pictures,” Puccinelli said.

For more information visit www.viewdo.com or send questions or comments to mail@viewdo.com.

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