Sunday, February 24, 2008

Interview with Bill Hornbeck,

Welcome to an interview Bill Hornbeck, President and CEO of StreamerNet Corporation, headquartered in Leesburg, VA. They provide access to digital media, which can be used as instructional content in an online course.

1. What is your relationship to e-learning?

Although we are focused on the eLearning sector as a result of our development of a unique media distribution platform on the web, I have been involved in one form or another for the past twenty-three years.

2. What is LearningPortal? How did it get started? What is the core vision?

The implementation of is based on technology meeting opportunity, but with a certain twist. Our entire vision is based on enabling the creators of knowledge-based content to have access to a distribution platform where the creator can actually be paid for their offerings.

I find it fascinating that, in a country that professes to be the single largest home to capitalism, there is this generation of citizens who seem to believe that products and services should be free of charge. While I can appreciate the benefit to advertisers when they have the willingness to trade brand awareness for goods, I cannot yet foresee a time when we can walk into a grocery store and read an ad in exchange for a quart of milk.

As we analyzed the visible evolution of advertising-based distribution of content, we became more and more confident that there was a solid opportunity to enable content owners to be properly and directly compensated for the sale of high-value knowledge products.

So, we built the LearningPortal technology to serve as a powerful online media vending machine – a web-based platform that can host and distribute content in the form of streaming or downloadable pay-to-view knowledge products.

There is no charge for content owners to place their materials on and all revenue is distributed through a revenue-sharing model.

We can even sell additional physical goods alongside the digital format so that a content owner can offer side products such as Books and DVDs. We can even sell the hat and the t-shirt!

3. Please list a few key links.

The main URL is

Here's an example of an audio book:

Hey, that's my book! (Ophelia's Gold) -- thank you for mentioning it!

4. What does LearningPortal offer? Please give an overview and then one or two specific examples (with links).

It’s important to note that the LearningPortal platform is not designed to deliver interactive courseware. We are more like a movie theater. In that regard, we do not compete with Learning Management Systems. We prefer to see our technology as an adjunct delivery system which fits particularly well with space-and-time-shifting requirements that can best be met by remote desktop viewing or by enabling downloads to the iPod and similar digital libraries.

A great example is our offering of the Tom Marks Panorama series called

Nuggets of Knowledge. The audio series is a wonderful collection of tidbits of knowledge that are perfectly suitable for off-loading for anytime listening. Nothing too fancy. Nothing earth shattering. Just loads of fun.

But, relative to the more specific corporate requirements, we offer a distribution platform that enables web-based delivery of post-event “replays” of corporate presentations and webinars. We find these offerings to be particularly effective within the trade association industry.

5 How do you see people using LearningPortal now and in the future?

The LearningPortal is a continuation of the original Internet theme of “anytime, anywhere access to knowledge”. In our case, we are properly focused on the enablement side. That is, we enable content owners to utilize a ready-built online distribution system to generate the revenue stream that is deservedly theirs. In so doing, we enable countless seekers of high-value knowledge-based content to go directly to what we anticipate will become the best and broadest source of searchable eLearning content.

6. What books or ideas have inspired you lately?

I am a broad reader of multidisciplinary subject matter. Almost entirely non-fiction. I was most stunned recently by the latest work of Ray Kurzweil, entitled The Singularity is Near. If you find it satisfying to recognize that the rate of organ repair and transplantation could enable a longer life, consider Kurzweils’s theme that exponential improvements in the world of bio will enable us to back-up the human brain within the next forty years – an accomplishment that may provide for immortality. It’s a great read.

Interview conducted by susan

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