American Express OPEN Forum Crash Courses powered by Veri

Yesterday, Gary Vaynerchuk officially resigned as a wine video blogger. Though many of his fans felt that change has been in the air over the past months, it was still a sad moment. An era that lasted 5 and a half years and that turned a young wine entrepreneur into a social media phenomenon finally came to an end.

When the news came to me yesterday, I got into some of his latest videos to see what is happening and there things got interesting. Gary linked to a short video he did for the American Express OPEN Forum which is an online community for business owners with content and news around small businesses. Below the video I saw a box promoting “A New Way to Learn” through Crash Courses – a Veri experience.

Veri is a startup that I first heard of a couple of weeks ago. The premise is to turn existing web content into self paced courses. Taking Gary as an example, in the more than 5 years and nearly 1100 episodes he together with his guests shared a ton of wine knowledge. Veri takes small bits out of those videos and builds questions around it, and all of a sudden you have a video exercise with an answer of a true expert in the field.

The same is of course true for any other kind of video content like Leo Laporte’s The Tech Guy series, Foundation, This Week in Startups and so on and so forth.

Up to now I did not hear much about Veri, though. There has been some early coverage on TechCrunch but if you visit the site, you are still prompted to leave your email address to enter the beta. Therefore I was really surprised to see that Veri is powering the AmEx OPEN Forum Crash Courses.

At the moment there are four Crash Courses available, Facebook for your Business, Search Engine Marketing, Local Marketing and Website Conversion. All of them seem to have launched on Monday.

The courses are hosted / curated by subject matter experts. During the course members can earn “IQ Points” by answering the multiple choice questions correctly. If they give a false answer they will be lead to an article or video that clarifies the answer.

If you select a course you are forwarded to a AmEx branded Veri course where you can also sign up for a Veri account via Facebook to save your learning progress and IQ points. Starting the course you will see a question and a set of multiple choice questions. You can either answer right away, skip the question or learn more about the topic to get the right answer.

After you got a right answer, you can leave a comment, see who else took the same question, review the attached article or let the question / course creator know that you really learned something.

In a last step your result is put into relation to the overall community performance.

From a first impression, I have to say that I really like the experience. The idea of creating courses based on already available content on the Internet is also pretty compelling. One of the nice things about signing up for the Veri beta through this “loop hole” is that I can now create courses myself.

The next step for me will be to set up a short German course based on my Deutsch Happen videos. Let’s see how that’ll work out.


Twitter: @Veri

OPEN Forum Crash Courses:

Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST. She also writes about Social Media, Digital Society and Startups at