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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