Wednesday, September 24, 2014

They're everywhere . . .

A couple times a month I get invitations to join new online course providers.  The latest is in Finland, before that in Scotland, before that EduPow (NY?).  None had any students at the point of asking, and that's a common thread with the new ones - big ideas, perhaps, and sometimes outrageous claims, but no students.  So I usually decline to participate.

I got a request of a different kind recently, actually from Udemy although I didn't notice the address, and thought it was from StackSocial.  The latter wanted to include my two largest courses in a "Name Your Own Price Game Designer Bundle."    "Your deal would run for 2 months, and it is expected to sell thousands of units during that period. Here is the link to StackSocial's current Name Your Own Price Bundle which has sold over 10K bundles to date. On average, instructors earn a minimum of $5K per course included in the bundle. The great thing is that we'll handle everything for you, so this is a great opportunity to reach a new audience with your course, and you can cross sell them into your other courses in the future."

I checked their current bundle.   There were seven courses IIRC, the highest at $499 list price.  The average price paid was $6.44.

My reply was No:
"As far as I know I am the *only* person on the Web offering audiovisual courses that are actually about game design, rather than about game development (programming, in most cases).  I do not participate in Udemy's kamikaze discounting, nor in affiliation, and have repeatedly told my students that I will not offer huge discounts."  So I couldn't participate in this bundle without making myself a liar.

"I assume you're planning a game development bundle while calling it 'game design' because that sounds much more sexy."   But I didn't want to dilute what I'm doing by associating it with game development courses mis-branded as game design.

A hidden assumption here was that it costs me no time to have people taking my classes for next-to-nothing.  My experience so far is that there's very little interaction between students and instructor (most often, when I write to each student as they register, sometimes they write back).
"Always do right--this will gratify some and astonish the rest."Mark Twain
"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." Antoine de Saint-Exup'ery

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." Albert Einstein

"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle