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Discussion on: I'm concerned with the move that FreeCodeCamp just pulled by leaving Medium

tantricbuddha profile image
J man

Somehow I doubt that you get mostly "positive" feedback from your guests. You guys basically take the content that they make and create a way for that content to directly compete with the original channel. My friend and I did the research, we went through a large chunk of the guests you've had on your channel since the beginning of the year. Very few of them have seen any kind of results from your promotion in terms of YouTube Subscribers or views. You talk about a bump in subscribers but I haven't seen anything of the sort after looking through the analytics. I won't name any names because I don't want to speak for anyone but there is very little cost efficiency for partnering with your channel.

Your company might be a not-for-profit company, but that isn't the case 99% of content creators. Most of them are developers and professionals who want provide education and make some money on the side. Many of them do the work because they find it interesting and fun but its also still work. Each video takes time and effort to create and giving away that work for "Free" to another company just isn't a good choice especially when that company could be doing so much more to pay back this donation via promotion.

To put things into perspective, it takes my friend roughly 4-5 hours to make ~20 minutes of video. This includes recording, editing, making a thumbnail, marketing, and setting up everything else. This doesn't include research which I would argue could almost double the time cost. If he was to give away 4 hours of his content; it would roughly equate to 48-60+ hours worth of work. If you do the math to make partnering with your channel worth while a channel would have to grow significantly and gain a fairly high click through rate (Which certainly isn't the case).

For a recent example lets look at this video: "Learn Data Science - Full Course for Beginners" which was just released on the 30th. This video sits at about 36k views right now and it was created by a YouTube channel that has a total of 1.4k subscribers. On the day that the video was released, the channel received a total of 88 subscribers, the next day they received 36 subs and then the next day they received only 15 subscribers (falling back to its original average). Lets assume for a moment that all of those subscribers came from this video release (probably not the case); that's 139 subscribers in three days from a video that has 36k views - a 0.3% click through rate which is pathetic (for reference, 4-5% is the average you would expect on a normal YouTube Video). Most of the top comments on this video directly reference free code camp; they don't seem to have any idea that this was created by a user who isn't affiliated with your company. And why should they? nowhere in the video does it show that this video was created by the 3rd party author. The first thing you see is a big logo for FreeCodeCamp.

This video is a 5 hour video by the way, this author was very generous when he gave you the content. But where is your company's gratitude for this content creator? There are no cards promoting the channel, no end screen, no logo in the beginning of the video, no audible mention of the channel name, nothing except a small link in the description box (at the bottom mind you). And whats worse, you guys went and branded the video with your own brand. All I see are people talking about how great Free Code Camp is when in reality you are just taking content that other people made and not giving them proper compensation.

This is really shitty. I think I am going to go and contact your CEO directly because this is seriously worse then I thought it was. You guys are like a cancer that potentially destroys many budding content creators. I personally am going to go through each and every one of the guest authors that you've had on your YouTube channel; look at the analytics and parse the data so that I can create an article addressing this problem.

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andrewbrown profile image
Andrew Brown 🇨🇦

This is my experience, and I'm just one person but I thought I'd share.

First-Hand Experience

I'm a guest content creator where I have published 3 courses (4 hours, 4 hours and 10 hours) and the result has been overwhelmingly positive every single time.

The struggle was incredibly hard before freeCodeCamp Youtube that I'd be embarrassed to put that story to ink. I will tell you first-hand experience the results it has produced.

The Results

This is the results of publishing on freeCodeCamp Youtube:

  • Searching "AWS" on Youtube puts me on top as the first result
  • My own Youtube channel has received a large uptick in subscribers
  • Even though I gave my courses away for free, people pay to support the creation of my free courses. This is leading to sustainable revenue.
  • Multiple job opportunities, paid workshops
  • Nearly everyone in Toronto (that's where I am) whether it be an accelerator, incubator, tech firms or otherwise knows who I am. No more am I being ignored and people want to collaborate. I have the street cred to do talks where I was one turned away.

The Support

Both Beau and Quincy will provide you with the support and mentorship you need for your content to succeed but it's your choice to listen and take action. If you listen, they'll tell you more, and in turn, you'll maximize the result you to gain.

Thoughts About Promoting their Guest Content

freeCodeCamp isn't a big ad for my brand and to convert direct sales to me. I never expected Cards or End Screens because that would go against the principle of the no ads.
I mention my name and my brand in the introduction. At every section, I say my name and my brand, but this simply out of habit and because I already shot the material. I make no call to actions, I don't show people my platform, people consume my content, they get to know me and find me afterwards. Is it in the magnitude of the number of views on the original video? No. But it is still in the thousands.

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abdurrahmaanj profile image
Abdur-Rahmaan Janhangeer

I'm just one person