This past week, I’ve been browsing the internet, trying to understand the impact such a vast and complex resource so easily accessible must have on modern day society. I’ve grown up in a time where the amount of memories of the non-internet days grows slim. Although, there’s a few atoms bouncing around in there that know what I’m talking about…
In a previous post, I talked a bit about how I started experimenting with some audio gear I had access to when I was younger. However, I never really mentioned how I learned what I know now. It actually went something like this… People-> Google-> YouTube
The Best Manual Around
Most of what I know came from the internet, not from a physical book. Now, I say that my learning started with people, because it was originally my Uncle, Dad, and Mom, who got my started with my first pieces of gear to experiment with. But after that, I had turned mostly to the internet to further my learning. Whenever I encountered an issue, something I didn’t know, or heard something on a record, and wanted to do the same thing, I would google it. This would usually lead me to some sort of video on YouTube of some guy or girl showing the viewers how to do it, and I’d fumble my way through the steps till I mastered the skill myself. Great! Sounds pretty easy, right? … well, not when YouTube is loaded with a whole lot of cat videos, and people who don’t know what the heck they are talking about. This is where Quality Control vs. Freedom of Speech comes in.
Now, do I believe that people can post blogs, videos, tutorials of whatever they choose? Yes. Even if they don’t know much about it? Sure. It’s not that big of a deal to me. The big deal is… how can I sift through all of that, and find the tutorials that I actually need? The quality ones.
Finding The Golden Goose
The truth is, as you get more experienced in one skill, it gets harder to find relevant content to help you learn more than just the basics. The videos that once were extremely engaging at first, maybe a year or two ago, have just become a landing page that you click away from because you’re going “I already know that, I already know that, I learned that 3 years ago.” And when finally you find that one video that’s 30 seconds long that shows you something new, you’re back on your 5-hour scavenger hunt, looking for content again through the endless hours of Nyan Cat.
You might be saying, “But, Sean, what are you saying? You just gotta love YouTube…” And that’s just it. I do, but that’s also why I think the world of online learning is moving towards websites like Lynda.com. But for many of those people looking for higher levels of learning don’t always have time (or patience) to sift through all of YouTube and search engines to find that one 30-second video which has the information they need. And that might be only thing holding them back from succeeding at learning something new.
Now with sites like Lynda.com, they do the sifting for you. It seems that they’re becoming what Universities once were: quality control. You pay a fee (that is rightfully owed for their service), and you get to browse databases of high quality content, and tutorials, all easily customizable to your skill level, so you never have a dull moment.
I encourage you to also check out either Lynda.com or some sort of online learning database. You won’t regret it.