Brainshark recently unveiled an online service that lets users access recorded presentations by subject matter experts in various fields. It's called the Brainshark Content Network and is officially in beta (according to the logo at the top of the page).
I already use Brainshark's presentation recording technology to create and host on-demand presentations for my own Webinar Success website and for my clients. So it was easy for me to check out the new offering.
If you want to get your content listed on the site, you have to submit an application to Brainshark. Their team reviews your qualifications and approves you as a content publisher ("Subject Matter Expert" in their parlance). That helps to make sure that visitors to the site don't have to plow through spam submissions and have a better chance at finding quality material. Publishers sign a contract with Brainshark that includes a revenue sharing model. Each recording submitted to the network can be configured by the publisher to be free or to have a charge for viewing. You can also elect to make the content available for reuse and modification by others (usually at a substantially higher price, but it's entirely up to you).
I already had recordings that were appropriate for the network, so for me, the act of publishing them was as simple as clicking a checkbox on each recording's profile in my authoring account. I confirmed the title, description, and cost along with a category for search indexing. That's it. They were up and available to the public.
If you are not a Brainshark customer but feel that you have valuable material of use to the community, you can get the use of the Brainshark technology once you are approved as a publisher. I took a look at the tutorial for creating a presentation for newcomers to the technology and it is well constructed and easy to follow. You can get going with nothing more than a PowerPoint slide deck and a telephone. I prefer using digital audio files for a cleaner sound, which is permitted by the technology. It takes more work, but makes for a cleaner soundtrack.
Visitors can search for content in 13 high level categories or by keyword. So if you'd like to see my recordings, you can follow this link to immediately see my four short presentations (All of which are free. You're welcome.)
Brainshark is not trying to be a generic presentation listing and syndication portal for all presentations on the web. They leave that to sites like EventSpan. They are only hosting Brainshark recordings, which of course helps them show off their technology while giving some extra value to the user community. And if enough people are willing to pay for the value-add they get, it creates an additional revenue stream for both Brainshark and the content authors. Admittedly, this will have to turn into a high-volume site for that money to be significant. Most pay-to-view recordings have relatively low prices, ranging from $1 to $25. Brainshark handles the payment processing via credit card or PayPal and you always have a chance to preview the first few slides of a fee-based recording to judge whether it's worth the money for you.
Viewers can add ratings to presentations they have watched, although this feature doesn't seem to be getting much action so far. I might wish for a few advanced search and listing features, but those may get added over time. For instance, you can't order your listing by price or by reverse order on title or date (title is always A-Z and date always shows most recent first).
I'm going to be very interested in whether the Brainshark Content Network takes off. If it does, you'll be seeing more content from me!