Oklahoma native works behind the scenes at online depository 

Ever wonder how to manage a congenital nasolacrimal duct obstruction? How about how to operate a 16mm motion picture projector? Or maybe you want to make a rocket using Mentos and Diet Coke, or perhaps just get rid of a one-night stand. These and 11 other choices popped up in the main window at www.wonderhowto.com, home to thousands of do-it-yourself instructional videos.


Since the inception of YouTube in 2005, the phenomenon of uploading and sharing videos has spread to computer users across the globe. This video revolution helped to ignite the DIY community, bringing techniques and tips to the masses in all kinds of categories: cooking, technology, art, repair, music and instruments " the list has virtually no end.

Ford Austin, an Oklahoma City native and vice president of original production at WonderHowTo, said the Santa Monica, Calif.-based site offers something a little more off the beaten track than similar sites.

"The thing about a lot of the how-to sites out there is that they'll really touch on mainstream things," Austin said. "If you want to get into the real niche part of the DIY world, that's what you gotta go to WonderHowTo for."

Austin, an Oklahoma City University graduate, said the site acts as not only a vehicle for information, but also inspiration for the Internet crowd.

"Information helps us to feel comfortable," he said. For example, "instead of wondering what a vasectomy is, you can go and see exactly what it is and know if that would be right for you or not. One of the things I want the site to do is just inspire these people who don't really do anything " everyone who just looks at videos " and get them engaged, get them to start doing things."

The site boasts a database of more than 100,000 videos within at least 400 categories, with daily uploads increasing the number at a steady rate. The feature-rich design makes it easy to operate and gives it a touch of individuality.

"One of the best things about (the site) is the 'Fresh' button," Austin said. "Whenever you come back onto the site when you log in, it gives you all of the videos that have been added to the site since your last visit."

After graduating from OCU with a theater degree, Austin moved to New York, where he appeared in several productions, including NBC's soap opera "Another World."

"Then I decided I had to move out to L.A. and start making movies and start working in TV and try and make scripts," he said. "So I moved out here and just worked on a lot of different shows and small parts."

One day, Austin said, a friend called with a business opportunity.

"This friend of mine said, 'I want you to come and work with us. We're creating this great company,' and he showed me this beta site for WonderHowTo," Austin said. "I sat there and I looked at it and I really couldn't believe what I was seeing. So I basically came on and started doing all of the production side of the company." "Jake Dalton


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