Common Craft's latest move helps point the way for content creators

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Lee and Sachi

Sachi and Lee LeFever's company Common Craft has reinvented itself a few times... and each time, they just get more and more useful. From an online community consulting firm, Common Craft turned into a creator and provider of simple, charming and monstrously popular explanatory videos - starting with the now-famous RSS in Plain English.

Now they've relaunched Common Craft with a membership model for anyone who wants to help educate others. Join for a reasonable fee (there's a reduced rate for schools and non-profits) and you gain access to the entire Common Craft library, which you can use in presentations or embed on your site.

There are a lot of reasons I'm delighted by this latest evolution, not the least of which is my happiness at seeing friends succeed. But maybe the biggest one is this:

Nearly every traditional business model for content creation is in turmoil these days. Books, newspapers, television, movies, music — all of those industries are scrambling to cope with the challenges of a new and dynamic digital world. So when someone comes along who can create something terrific, who can do it really well, and can turn that into a viable business, it offers real hope for anyone who wants to earn a livelihood from their creative talents and skills.

Maybe, on a good day, I could whip up an explanation of what I mean using paper cutouts and a whiteboard. But I think I'll leave that to the experts.

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