Someone asked me this question on YouTube:
While this person didn't ask the question in the same way, what they are really asking (usually) is
Why should I buy your courses if you are releasing the same videos on YouTube for free?
I will explain this in this article.
My latest material goes to my paid courses first
All the videos I create are first uploaded to my paid courses.
So you have a couple of options if you want to access the videos:
- Get the paid course
- Wait till I release the videos to YouTube (and I don't follow any set schedule around this)
As an example, here is a list of courses I have released on my paid course website at this time.
I don't think even 25% of the material has been uploaded to YouTube.
You get the resources included in the paid courses
For example, if you want to get the agent ZIP files, the code samples, and in some cases the XMind flowchart you can only get them in the paid courses.
In some situations, it doesn't really matter. The video is enough for you to follow and build out your bot.
But it will generally be a far better learning process if you first upload the agent ZIP file into Dialogflow, and then follow along in the video.
There are two reasons for this:
- you clearly save the time it takes to type out the training phrases in your intents
- you can avoid any mistakes as you are trying to replicate the training phrases (which matters in case Dialogflow annotates a phrase, and you don't have that same annotation in your training phrase)
In addition, simply importing working agent ZIP files and spending some time trying to figure out what is going on is a really good way to understand Dialogflow.
You can ask questions in the discussion forum in a paid course
My course platform (Thinkific) allows me to add a discussion forum to each course, and I do.
If you ask me questions in the discussion forum in my course, you will get a detailed answer. I also answer questions in my YouTube videos, but obviously I will prioritize the questions from my students, and in general the answers you get in the courses will be a lot more detailed.
The course follows a structure
What I mean is, there is a well defined flow when you go through an actual course. You don't quite get the same experience watching a YouTube playlist (well, for one, YouTube's UI is quite awful).
For example here is the upcoming UI for my Thinkific courses (it is in beta, but will be coming soon). This one is for my REST API v2 course.
Notice that there are chapters, and then individual video lessons. Also, the video player itself is quite nice.
YouTube's structure is poor
For one thing, compared to a course like above, you cannot really structure your training material very well for YouTube. Yes there are playlists, but that is hardly enough to organize your material.
Here is an example : I uploaded a series of videos called Dialogflow for non-programmers. And promptly, here was the question:
Here is the thing: the video was already part of a playlist, but somehow the viewer had seen it in isolation. This isn't something you can control very well on YouTube (to the best of my knowledge), so I simply added the link to the playlist URL into the video description for all videos.
YouTube is suboptimal for actual learning
Obviously, you cannot beat the price of YouTube 🙂 But is YouTube slowing down your learning?
Now, a course on YouTube cannot match the uncomplicated structure of a dedicated course platform.
But there is another major issue: YouTube is too distracting.
If you know anything about the human brain, you know that you exert a lot of willpower when you are actively trying to avoid distractions as you are learning.
Learning is hard as it is, why make it harder for yourself?
And to answer the original question: if you consider only the videos alone, they are usually the same.