CNET Editors' review
eHow is a fantastic how-to site that includes both videos and articles, though the focus is more on print instructions than video. The service enlists the help of professionals to create the more than 300,000 articles on the Web site. From learning how to tie a tie, to how to caulk, the site has it all. But if you're looking for video, you're not going to find much on eHow--it's designed to provide step-by-step text instructions. Sometimes--especially when figuring out how to build something like a deck--that's ideal. But for simple topics like learning how to throw a baseball, a video works much better. In those cases, we tend to use sites like 5min or Expert Village instead.
As the service is ad-supported, you will be forced to sit through commercials on the company's videos, but that's not a big deal--they're only 15 seconds long and run before the clip. We should also note that the site's video player doesn't offer all the extras that you may find on other online tutorial services, so you'll probably find yourself moving the slider back quite often to figure out how to do something.
However, video isn't what eHow is all about. The site is ideal when you want to bring instructions with you wherever you need to complete a task. Unlike some competitors, you don't need to sit in front of my computer to see how to sand wood flooring when you use eHow; you can print out the instructions and read them. On complex projects, having an option to print instructions is ideal.
eHow.com is an online community dedicated to providing visitors the ability to research, share, and discuss instructional solutions that help complete day-to-day tasks and projects. We combine the experiential knowledge of certified experts with the practical knowledge of everyday people to help you discuss, plan, and complete tasks and jobs.
The eHow.com library has more than 600,000 articles and 160,000 high-quality videos, written and produced by experts, and also, by people just like you - people who've figured out how to complete a variety of tasks, simple and complex, and are willing to share their knowledge. eHow.com also rewards its community of solution sharers--members who contribute articles to eHow.com that help complete day-to-day tasks and projects. By joining the Writer Compensation Program, you can be part of this community and start publishing your own original articles while making money at the same time.
All versions:3.5 stars
out of 2 votes
Current version:3.5 stars
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"eHow: a treasury of unreliable information"
-vast collection of topics
-answers usually on first page
1) information is frequently incorrect
2)"how to" articles are usually too brief and simplistic to be useful
3) often multiple articles covering same topic
4) directions are interrupted by advertising blocks and pop up ads
eHow should really be called "How-to for Morons". The articles are apparently written by the same folks who prepare those assembly instructions that come with cheap furniture kits. They're clearly paid writers who are copying information from other unreliable sources on topics that they know nothing about (click on the contributer's name to get their bio and you'll see what I mean). I've looked at dozens of topics on that site and the info is usually incomplete, inaccurate, or irrelevant to the question addressed. When it is accurate the instructions given are typically so generic and obvious as to be insulting; "to replace the battery in your remote control, remove the battery cover, insert new batteries, then replace the cover" - D'uh! Overall, I'd say eHow is even worse than message board sites like Yahoo Answers where at least you get several unreliable opinions to choose from.
"How to... do anything. Real people with real answers."
eHow is the most intelligent "advice" site I have found. It blows yahoo Answers out of the water and while it can't compete with the pure factual content of Wikipedia.
I haven't any cons -I am extremely pleased with the design, load time, forms, marketing and other aspects of eHow.
The format is clean, and the people who have decided to write articles tend to be honestly interested in what they are discussing - not just trying to make a buck.
eHow's approach is really low-key - they do not have flashy ads all over the place and the muted tone of the design carries through to the attitude of the members.
While eHow does pay you for article submission, the focus does not seem to just be on money, but on providing useful content. I can't recommend eHow enough... they have provided answers that I couldn't find elsewhere when a pipe burst in the attic, when I thought my dog was choking, when I got a virus on my laptop and many more times.