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Why I Use YouTube

After 15 months of running a YouTube channel, I wanted to give some insight into why I started a YouTube channel for Creo Parametric.

In my day job, I provide a lot of L1 technical support – too much in my opinion. Given my knowledge, skill, and experience, it’s not the most effective use of my time. If you owned an auto shop, would you want an expert mechanic spending a lot of their time performing oil changes? If you owned a restaurant, would you want someone with executive chef experience washing dishes? I’m not looking down on those tasks or people who perform those jobs. Those tasks are absolutely necessary and we need people who can do them. An expert mechanic or executive chef may very well perform those tasks on occasion, but you wouldn’t want them spending all their time doing them.

In both training and technical support, you tend to get the same questions over and over. It’s a relatively easy effort to compile a database of these enquiries. It’s not necessary to have a live human to help with these issues, and certainly not in person. Students and end users should have 24-7 access to help; they shouldn’t require real-time human support.

Having worked in CAD (Computer Aided Design) training, support, and administration, here’s what I have realized about how I can help end users:

  • When it comes to L1 end user support, a “quick” question usually takes an average of 45 minutes. And I’m only helping one person. That comes out to 1.3 people per hour, or just over 50 people I can help in a week if technical support is the only task I’m working on.

  • If I’m teaching a class, I can help upwards of 12 people an hour. If I’m teaching a one-week class, that’s 12 people max per week. If I’m teaching the same class every hour, that’s a maximum of 480 people – which never happens.

  • If I’m leading a user group, you can reach between 50 to 150 people, but typically user meetings are never held more than once a month if at all.

All these methods are inefficient for helping a lot of people. More importantly, it’s not scalable with a growing organization.

As I’m writing this, I am within a couple weeks of hitting 1 million viewing minutes on YouTube after 15 months of operation. One million minutes comes out to 416 work weeks – or 8 years of assistance.

I can make videos fairly quickly. Once I know what subject I’m going to cover, I can record, edit, create a title image, and post in about half an hour. As I’m writing this, my most watched video has 424 viewing hours. That one probably took an hour. One hour of effort expended in 2018 has been viewed an average of 30 hours a month since it’s been posted. That’s a pretty good return on effort and an efficient method of delivering and disseminating knowledge.

In the time that I can assist one user solve one problem, I can create a training and support asset that can help many people on demand without any additional effort on my part. They can watch it over and over again as necessary. This is why I believe YouTube is the most effective, scalable means of delivering training and support for CAD.


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