Turn here for some cool videos

It’s been around for a little while now, but a site called TurnHere sort of escaped my notice until recently, when I ran across a mention of it in two vastly different places (always a sign that I should sit up and pay attention). The first was on video site Beet, which wrote about the service and posted an interview it did with one of its investors, William Randolph Hearst III. Beet also had an interview recently with the founder of TurnHere, Brad Inman, which it linked to in the post as well.

What TurnHere.com is creating is a repository for short films about different locations. It already has hundreds of video tours of everything from Toronto’s Chinatown and Annex to dozens of locations in the San Francisco Bay area, and from Dublin in Ireland to Cabo San Lucas. And it is syndicating the videos through other sites, including — and this is probably the coolest — Google Earth, which has links to the videos embedded at various place marks.

TurnHere chinatown.jpg

The second place I found a mention of TurnHere was completely serendipitous. I recently got to know Leigh Himel, the CEO of a startup called Oponia Networks (which was co-founded by a friend of mine, Vanessa Williams). And Leigh recently started a blog, in which she mentioned some things about herself — like the fact that her father’s cousin is married to Suzanne Somers. She also mentioned that her brother Dave had appeared in a funny video.

Needless to say, I clicked on the link (like most Web surfers, I can’t pass up a funny video) and was taken to a site that linked to a video from TurnHere, in which Leigh’s brother Dave strolled through Chinatown talking about its various highlights, including his favourite place to get Chinese pork and duck, and then a trip to his Chinese herbalist and acupuncturist. I thought it was terrific — just a regular person giving you a personal view of a place through their eyes.

I haven’t checked out any of the other videos from TurnHere, but if a substantial number of them are as good as the one I watched with Dave touring Chinatown, I think the service is likely to be a hit. And it also shows the increasing penetration of video into our everyday Web lives. Greg Sterling of Screenwerk has also written about TurnHere.

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