Barnes & Noble recently launched a new how-to site that they’re calling Quamut. Their tag line is “the go to how to” and it’s all about providing users with simple instructions on how to do different things in a variety of topics. Topics that they cover include house and home, hobbies and leisure, money and business, computers and technology, and mind and body. What’s different about Quamut in comparison to other “how-to” sites is that every bit of information is written by an expert and then reviewed by a fact-checker. It’s produced and then published by the editorial team at Barnes & Noble headquarters so that you have some reassurance that the information is correct.
Each “how-to” article is called a Quamut and they are consistently adding new ones. To make money, topics are formatted into a printable chart which users can purchase and then print for easy access. Charts vary in length, but it appears that they all cost $2.95. If someone is looking to just read the information online, they can do that too without needing to purchase the chart because all information is also formatted in HTML and available on the site. Selling Quamut’s isn’t their only method to make money, they also use Google AdSense and provide links to Barnes & Noble where users can purchase different books relating to the topic they were looking at.
One perk to the service is that each day they offer a free Quamut for users to download. Today’s free Quamut is Gardening Basics which will tell you anything you ever wanted to know about gardening in six pages. You can also just view the online version for Gardening Basics here. Another nice feature is that they have a community Wiki where users can share their knowledge with others on various topics.
Overall the site looks very promising. I like the route they’re taking to monetize the site by offering all of the content for free, viewable only online, or making it available for purchase in which case the user can print and view it offline. As Mashable points out, it looks as though finally we may be headed in the right direction as far as online publishing goes.
Go ahead and check it out, and then let us know what you think!