Archive for the 'CodingMath' category

Backtrack Time – Coding Math

Oct 19 2016 Published by under CodingMath

So, a few days ago, I announced that all future Coding Math episodes would be released on egghead.io.

The first one was released there, and it turns out that this arrangement is not going to work out the way I hoped it would. Let me say at the outset that there is no problem between myself and the company. I’ll continue to produce egghead.io-specific videos for them. But I thought that moving the Coding Math stuff over there would be a simple matter of uploading it and publishing it there. And that’s not the case. Naturally, egghead.io has a brand and certain standards and style guidelines necessary for keeping consistency when dealing with so many different instructors. Actually, it’s not so much of a “style” as a stripped-down, “just the facts” concept, which is great. I wholeheartedly agree with that concept. But the Coding Math videos, as-is, break too many rules and would have to undergo surgery on a video-by-video basis in order to fit in to that universe. Also note that egghead.io was not refusing to publish them. They were very accommodating, even offering help in terms of manpower to do that editing.

In the end though, after a night and day of soul-searching, I have decided to keep the Coding Math “brand”, such as it is, independent. This decision makes absolutely no sense financially. I’m walking away from lots of easy money. But Coding Math has always been more of a labor of love than a money-making operation. So for better or worse, the channel will now live on as-is, YouTube only, Patreon supported, assuming not too many of you have jumped ship.

On a related note, I would like to do more in the sphere of teaching. I’d like to gauge the interest in a live “Coding Math” or “Making Things Move” course. A one- or two-day, in-person course held somewhere in the Boston area. If successful, maybe occasional road shows. Or possibly a live on-line course, or (though I despise the term) “webinar”. Are these things that people would be interested in? What would such a course be worth to you? If anyone has any experience, resources or contacts in any of those areas, let me know.

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Coding Math and egghead.io

Oct 16 2016 Published by under CodingMath, JavaScript

I’m happy to announce that Coding Math videos will now be available on egghead.io.

Since I started making videos, it has been a great source of joy for me. I love teaching, whether it is writing, speaking or making videos. It’s very fulfilling to spend time learning a subject and then be able to distill that subject down into simple enough terms that others can understand it and actually USE it. And the tons of positive comments I have received on the videos have totally defied my previous views of what YouTube comment sections were supposed to look like. I don’t answer all of them, but I do read every single one and it’s always a nice pick-me-up to get one of your great comments.

At the same time, making videos takes a lot of time and energy. I usually think over the script in my head – often on long walks with my dog – for a couple of days. Then I try to come up with good, simple code examples. This is key, in my opinion. It’s where a lot of other educators and authors fall down, I think. The example needs to be realistic enough that you can see how you could use that in a real project. But at the same time, you don’t want a full fledged application with all kinds of other junk that’s obscuring the one principle you are trying to teach. I remember seeing a tutorial for parsing XML some years ago, that went on for ages on pixel-level details on how to build the UI for displaying the XML. Utterly irrelevant. The code examples usually take me from one to a few hours. Then I start writing the script explaining the concepts and going through the code. That’s generally a couple of hours minimum. Screencasting all of the code and any diagramming, gathering other graphics and screenshots, etc. is another hour or two. Recording the audio is pretty quick. I do it in one take and just back up and start talking again if I make a mistake. Editing the audio for a 10-15 minute video takes around an hour. Then, putting it all together – making all the audio match up to all the video, all the cuts and transitions, etc. can be anywhere from 2-4 hours. So we’re usually talking a minimum of around 8 hours for the full production of a 10 minute video. Maybe twice that for a more complex one.

So, while the praise and thanks are nice, it would also be good to get remunerated for that time somewhat. My approach to this so far has been through my Patreon campaign. Many of you have contributed to Patreon, and I am grateful beyond words at the fact that you have gone ahead and given money that you didn’t have to give to support my efforts. Thank you all who have donated. Seriously.

However, while Patreon is a great service, it is more suited for some types of content than others. A lot of podcast producers use it to great success. In those cases, it makes a ton of sense. Most traditional podcasts are fairly topical – they talk about current events and happenings. A few weeks later, an individual episode has lost 90% of its value. However, in the case of the videos I’m producing, they’ll all continue to have the same value as the day they were produced – at least for some years, until JavaScript itself becomes obsolete. Even then, the principles will still be usable.

As it stands, I make about $90 to $100 from Patreon each time I release a Coding Math video. Given the time I put into them, that’s somewhere close to minimum wage. If, a week AFTER I release a video, that video goes viral and 100,000 people watch it, I will get… $0. If that video continues to get thousands of hits per week for the next 5 years, I will get … $0. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the Patreon contributions, but it’s really not the best system for this type of content.

There’s also Youtube ad revenue. This does reflect ongoing views, but with almost 15,000 subscribers, this results in an average of about $20 a month. Not really worth discussing.

Enter egghead.io

I’ve also been making videos for egghead.io. I’ve kept these quite separate. So far they’ve been series on specific subjects. The egghead.io platform is great – both for customers and instructors. If you are a web development professional, it’s possibly the best resource to stay up to date on current technologies. For something like $199 a year, you get an amazing wealth of ongoing, current, as well as archived material. egghead.io also has a library of free videos. As an egghead.io instructor, I continue to earn revenue on older videos, as long as they are still being watched. And unlike YouTube, it’s actually a significant amount.

So it’s been a struggle for me on which to concentrate on. I love creating the Coding Math series and letting people learn for free, but also like doing the egghead.io specific videos that earn me money. Fortunately, there is a way to combine both.

Coding Math videos will now be published first on egghead.io. The will be released for free, and will remain free for anyone to watch, any time, ever. Just like on YouTube. But I’m sure you’ll rest much easier knowing that I’m being well compensated! :)

Here’s the first one:

https://egghead.io/lessons/javascript-dot-product-in-javascript

As for the future, I’ll slowly be adding the back catalog of Coding Math episodes to egghead.io. I won’t be removing them from YouTube though. They’ll stay right there. New episodes will premiere on egghead.io, and probably eventually go up on YouTube at some point. I’m not entirely sure on how I will schedule that. Since I will now be paid for the content through egghead.io, I will no longer be publishing through Patreon. Once again, though, I thank all of you who have contributed there. It just wouldn’t feel right to “double dip” that way. Finally, I will continue to do paid series for egghead.io. I recently finished an intermediate series on coding WebGL in JavaScript, as a follow up to the beginner series I did earlier. This should be published there soon.

And as I said earlier, if you like the free stuff you see on egghead.io, I highly recommend signing up. Maybe get your company to get a subscription.

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Coding Math Mini #5: Pythagorean Theorem and Distance

Feb 12 2014 Published by under CodingMath

This is one I’ve been meaning to do for a while. Probably should have done it earlier, as it’s used in so many places. Anyway, here you go, how to find the distance between two points.

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Coding Math: Episode 13 – Friction

Feb 11 2014 Published by under CodingMath

I figure I might as well post these here too. Just in case people aren’t aware of them. :)

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