Ryan Irelan

Guest Ryan Irelan

Ryan is the creator of CraftQuest, an online learning platform for Craft CMS and modern web development. He is also a partner at Pine Works, a design and development agency with good ethics and strong opinions. He's taught engineers at NASA, internal teams at the University of Chicago, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and UMass Boston.


Season 07 Episode 8 – May 14, 2024  
50:31  Show Notes

Online Learning and Keeping up with Technology with Ryan Irelan


In this episode we talk with Online educator Ryan Irelan about online learning and keeping up with technology in web development.

Show Notes

  • Ryans path to online teacher
  • First course was with Pragmatic Programmers
  • The switch from a la cart to subscription modal
  • Udemy and course platforms
  • Communication with Pixel and Tonic about upcoming features and changes
  • Advantages/disadvantages of discord servers
  • Chat GPT
  • CraftQuest is launching a discord server!
  • How Ryan learns new technologies
  • Ryan's approach to teaching explained
  • Ryan has strong opinions about Craft CMS
  • What makes a good topic for a course, a lesson, or a livestream
  • What Ryan does use for screen recording and editing

Show Links

Accuracy of transcript is dependant on AI technology.

And we're back with another episode of the website 101 Podcasts. This is a podcast for people who want to learn more about building and managing websites. I am one of your hosts, Mike Mele, and with me is Sean Smith. Hi, Sean. How you doing?

Hey, how are you doing? Doing well, and Amanda Lutz is here. Amanda, hi. Hello, friends. And today we have a guest and we're thrilled to have him on. We have... Ryan Ireland. Ryan's the creator of Craft Quest,

as a lot of our listeners are probably aware of, that's an online learning platform for Craft CMS and modern web development. He's also a partner at Pine Works, a design and development agency with good ethics and strong opinions.

Ryan's worked with brands like Ben and Jerry's, Papa John's and Stanford University. He's taught engineers at NASA, internal teams at the University of Chicago, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and UMass Boston.

Wow, that's quite a bio. Ryan, welcome to the show. Thanks for being here. Hey, thanks for having me and I think I think I hung out with Mike both you and Sean when I was in Toronto for the CBC work

Yes, I think Amanda was there. Are you there Amanda? Okay? Awesome. Well, there we go Yeah, this is back when we're all involved with expression engine at the time. Yeah, yeah like years ago We did some stuff then that's right. So I hate to say this but you know that was 10 years ago that I was there

So long ago. Yeah Yeah, yeah, it was a lot of that. I cannot remember events that happened that long ago. Until Google Photos says, hey, this is your history from so many years ago. I don't remember it happening.

Exactly. Right. Right. Yeah, I definitely remember Ryan coming in because I was organizing the expression engine meetup in Toronto. And it was the largest turnout ever. Yeah, I remember that day.

Yeah. So, all for Ryan and me. All for Ryan. Hopefully there were no regrets. Industry celebrity. Oh dear. So Ryan, can you just tell us a little bit about how you... What was your path to becoming a teacher in the technology space?

How did you get started doing that? Yeah. So more than ten years ago, I moved to Germany and to live there because my... my now wife then girlfriend is from Germany and I was moved to be there with her.

And I started taking a class there, German for foreigners essentially is what it was called. And it used the immersive or immersion learning technique for learning a foreign language. Basically the teacher comes in and from minute one the entire class is taught in German.

And even though the people all around you, I was sitting next to a couple from Japan and next to me were some elderly people from Russia. There were people from Turkey, from Iran, Iraq. And really no one had a common language.

I was probably in a lucky spot because most people could at least string together a few words of English and such a global language. But we all had to learn how to communicate with each other using German a language none of us knew.

from day one and then because of that it helped you earn pretty quickly because you were immersed in it You needed to use those skills and those tools like you know All every single day after the class I would have to go get on the bus and communicate to the bus driver

You know where I wanted to go so he so he or she knew which fare to to charge me Anyway, so when I got back from Germany, we were We got married and I went back to University and and got a undergraduate degree in German studies,

and then went to graduate school at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Go to our heels. I'm sure you went to college basketball in the US. But there, I got, like the graduate students,

you can get an appointment to teach essentially, like all the grad students there, have like a one or two class load each semester. So you're teaching undergraduates. And they also use this. a similar technique as best you can in the US.

But I learned then how to then teach the way that I was taught, which is using real world scenarios, trying to get through life in the foreign language. And then I got a master's degree at Finnish school.

Got my first job in EdTech, like an early ebook company. And I started working with the expression engine. I'm going to start with the first one. And I'm going to start with the first one. And I'm going to start with the first one.

And I'm going to start with the first one. And I'm going to start with the first one. And I'm going to start with the first one. And I'm going to start with the first one. And I'm going to start with the first one.

And I'm going to start with the first one. And I'm going to start with the first one. And I'm going to start with the first one. And I'm going to start with the first one. And I'm going to start with the first one.

And I'm going to start with the first one. and then realize like, oh, like, if I wanna teach this to people, this is just like teaching people a foreign language because you wanna teach in a real world,

like context or scenario, which instead of like teaching people like directly from a manual, you're helping them build a site that would be very similar to something that they would build, you know,

for a client or a customer or at their company. Right. And so like it all kind of, you know, this guy took like what would, was probably going to be a very not-lookered career in Germany. and turn to something where you could actually have,

like do something with it in technology. That's kind of where it started. So way back in, I released my first course in 2008, I think. And that was with Majingo? Well, that was actually with the Pragmatic Programmers,

which is a publisher out of North Carolina. And they actually signed me up to write a book first. And then there was this whole long wait for expression engine two to come out. I'm not sure how many of you guys remember that.

But, and so I had to, I just did the videos first because we were doing like physical printed books. And so we didn't want to commit to a physical printed book until we had the new version of Expression Engine.

So I did these videos over the summer of 2008 and just released a new video in this course every week. And it did really well. I was really surprised. And then I did eventually do the book. And then I decided that I wanted to do this on my own.

Yeah, so that's when I did Magingo, which was a terrible name for a company that I just came up with. And then heapsence retired. But. And then I started selling IWA cart just like these courses on my own.

And I really liked that because I was able to like email and connect with the customers. Whereas when you do it through a publisher, you have no access to your customers. And so it was nice to be able to get email from them and reply,

or even tell them like, hey, I got something new, you might be interested in. And then, yeah, and then I did that for years and years. Eventually it started doing stuff on CraftCMS when I came out in.

2000 something? I don't remember when it was. I think it was around 2012. 2012? Yeah. So I was early in. I used to get when it was called Blox. Branding Kelly, who's the founder of Pixel and Tonic and Craft.

I've known Branding like going back to probably 2008 maybe, something like that. And I would get like screenshots and he was like working on the first. control panel and stuff. So I was like, I had all the info I needed

and I could come up with a course pretty early. I think I had my first course out when craft one was in beta, if I remember correctly. And yeah, just, you know, there was a good response from the stuff that I did

and this was all well before there was any, like the industry is like it is now with online learning. It's exploded, it's huge. And I've been involved in some, like there's a company. when you call it, Porosite, I've licensed some of my courses

through them. I think I still do. At least I still get this tiny royalty check every quarter from them, so I see what I still do. And it's just been fun. And then in 2018, I decided to essentially

decapitate my business model and launch CraftQuest. So I went from Awakar. You bought a course as you needed it. to the subscription model with the idea that I could go deeper into topics touch on like fringe topics or side topics and create like a

larger catalog without worrying that If I spend two weeks on this thing is anybody gonna buy this like is this going to like pay my bills when I'm done? And by doing the subscription I felt like I could like spread that risk out because

you you know, people are subscribing and then I can share with them something like several things that I hope add up to being worth it. And instead of having to like create something that I have to like sell to somebody every single time. Which then you start to create things I think

that aren't like truly what you want to cover or truly what you think people need to know because it's hard to like I could do like a four minute lesson that might be really helpful for people. But what am I going to do asking them for four dollars? Like it's it's like a weird

I switched to subscription things. So that was coming up next month in June of this year will be us six years since I launched a craft quest, which is wild. It feels like I just launched it. Did you ever consider you putting your courses on something like Udemy or one of those other

course platforms? I have. And I don't know why I'm here. I have. And I don't know why I decided not to do it. I think mostly it was because of control. One of the things I did was I got out of working with a publisher because I

wanted full control over the process, and I also wanted to be directly connected with my customers. That was really important to me. That makes sense to me. The one of the things with you to me is great,

like those types of services because they get you out in front of a lot of people. I was already teaching fairly niche. topics? I'm not teaching React or or view or I do teach at Astro but like not you

know I teach Astro to to our like crowd not to the general public. So so those types of places would have actually been more harmful to me than helpful because it would have been harder for people to find stuff and it wouldn't like

honestly I probably just be working just as hard right now and probably trying to like make ends meet because you're just not they're not pushing enough that the same the pet people that I want to connect with they're just not there so it made more sense to

kind of stay small. Yeah you're in good company for running your own courses I mean West Boss and right there's several other people like the best courses that I've ever done online have all been off of you dummy. Yeah. No no no no

on a course platform. Right, yeah, exactly. Yeah, so, and I actually like you to me, I'm actually taking a class on Udemy right now, so I'm not down on those places, and I have a business relationship with Porosite,

where they were very kind and took me on as a licensed author. But it's just a different business, and, but if I was teaching React, I would probably do something like, like Udemy, it makes more sense.

then would be better. Because you got a wider audience. Yeah, exactly. And if craft was on Udemy, then I would have to both evangelize craft on Udemy in order to entice people to learn craft, rather than spend my time just focusing on teaching

things that I think are really interesting and helpful to people that are already interested in it. So it's kind of a weird situation. Excellent. So Ryan, when you... mostly teaching craft stuff now.

Do you ever consult with Pixel and Tonic and Brandon and those guys about what you're going to teach about? Like in anticipation of new features or new versions, do you talk to them before you decide to create things?

I have, yeah. Brandon's super helpful in like, especially with the lead up to craft five if there is like a breaking change or a UI. Like when they revamp. the sidebar and they just kind of gave it a little bit of a tint so it wasn't the same color as the rest of the

um as the rest of the control panel. He messaged me and just let me know that that was coming and I just asked if I had already recording. But you're recording stuff because I think you did. You know, so yeah so um but really only in the sense that and I let him know like hey like um you know

I'm gonna like start recording. Are you guys kind of locked in? You know, I just want enough. So, just so, yeah, yeah. So, because it's obviously, it's right, it's to their benefit when Craft 5 comes out

that there's material on my site ready to go. So they've always been super supportive. But Brandon's been, since I've known him going back in the expression engine days, he's always been a supporter of mine

in terms of with, you know, he advertised on my old new site that I ran for expression engine. And he has always just been, you know, an advocate for the... the work that I've done, so I've always really appreciated that.

Craft has got a really great user community. The best. Yeah, absolutely. I think so too. I wish it wasn't all stuck in Discord, but I agree 100%. Where would you move it? Where would you expand it to, if not all stuck in Discord?

I say this on the precipice of launching a Discord channel, which you can talk about. And, but, you know... Facebook groups. Just say that. Yeah, I know. My space. No. I don't know. I just, my one concern is that Discord server is so amazing.

And there's so many helpful people that put so much time and information in it that I just wish that it was searchable and surfaceable for other people. That's like my big gripe. If you search for questions online,

I've done a fair amount of Laravel projects. If you search for questions online. in Laravel, you get at Lara cast, there is a forum that is fairly active, but we'll pretty much always cover every question that you ever have,

or at least help point you in the right direction. And I wish we had something like that. So... I do miss forums for the ability. Well, we're all Sean, we're old, I mean, yeah. I don't know. But like the forums, the big advantage,

you get the question and you get the answer somewhere in there. And then back and forth, and the closest we've got is... ... GitHub issues now. Or Stack Overflow. And Stack Overflow. Stack Overflow is, I haven't been there since

a chat GPT cannot. So that's the thing, right? So chat GPT is another thing that kind of replaces that information. But here's the thing. Chat GPT is worthless if people aren't published in that information online.

Because chat GPT doesn't, they just don't, they don't develop those answers out of thin air, right? They're not. Exactly. It's not creating the. answer. Right. Stealing the answer from somewhere and preventing it to you.

Yeah, I get from my site. But so yeah, so I think forums like that's probably like a bad word for it, but just something that's that's more open. A stack overflow like I'm on there. Every day I subscribe to like the the new like I still use an RSS reader like talk about how old school I

can be sometimes. But because I like to see like what people are posting and I answered a couple questions today. on there. So there's still a fair amount there but 90% of the stuff is definitely in discord. And the reason it's in discord is because that's where the

people are and that makes complete sense and I think we should all be like grateful and appreciative of a community that where people are just kind of hanging out and helping each other but I wish I really really wish that stuff was

findable. I really don't know. I'm with you on that. Speaking of discord and you kind of hinted at that is that you've got your own discord server which I stumbled upon today when I was like browsing your site looking for things to

bring up and order. discussion. And I joined and it's empty. Can you tell us what's the plans for? Like what's going on? When is it going to launch? When can everybody find out about it? It's going to launch in the coming days and it is empty. So I was traveling last week.

And before I left, I had pushed some changes to the site where I if you go to like craftquest.io slash I think it's community. There's the live stream that I do with Andrew Welch, Craft Quest on Call. First.

on Thursday of every month. And then there is now the Discord channel. So I'm trying to build up some community resources around CraftQuest that are more than, that are like two way communication versus one way,

which is what my videos are, right? I'm just kind of talking into a microphone here in my little office in my backyard. And the, this is supposed to kind of help like increase that communication.

We've been trying to do the same thing. We have a YouTube live on the first and third Wednesday. of every month. Perfect. The day before you guys. Yeah, are you trying to upstage me? Yes, yes we are. Not successfully though. Yeah, I love that the live chat and if

you all have watched the live stream, you know that like Andrew and I have this dynamic where... Oh, he's always right. He's always getting on my case and causing me emotional like trauma but... do. No, Andrew is wonderful. But that is our our thing. And it's not even like like like

in text messages. Like that's how we we roll. But we we kind of have like that type of of dynamic and it's fun. Anyway, so that's the the live stream. But then the discord thing is all about another way of communicating with people. And right now it's reserved for

premium members of craft. So if you subscribe to one of the paid plans, whether it's a monthly quarterly annual or you're part of a team One of the team plans, then you can access to it and we'll see we'll see how it goes

So by the time this this comes out. I should be like already to like, you know chat with people the hard thing about communities like this is is The like the cold start, you know dilemma where you're you have to start this community

But if like Sean you showed up you said no one's here You're probably going to like, log out and go somewhere else because nobody's here. But I need people to hang out and stay around. Um, and so that's what I'm going to be working on to, uh, try to make that happen.

Yeah. So you go to, go to craftquest.io slash community. Yeah. And if you can get a, well, you can get a free three day trial and it actually will unlock it for you and then you can come hang out. Um, so I guess I just gave everybody a hack.

And then after those three days, Ryan kicks you out of there. After you've made all your friends. That's it. Good gun. That's it. And I'll publicly announce your removal. No, I'm just kidding. Oh.

I like it. Now I would love to see as many people in there as possible. Awesome. Yeah. Awesome. I'm looking forward to it. Yeah. Me too. Yeah. It'd be fun. It'd be a different vibe than other the main craft discord.

And it's not really meant to replace that. It's just meant to be a like a I always talk about craft quest as a community. And I want these people that are all learning from the site and might be having similar

problems and are also on the discourse. server for craft, the official discourse server to all come together as they're learning. I have it right now broken up into channels. I'm not sure if they're actually, if you can see the different channels right now, Sean,

but I have them broken up by like the main courses, like the Quick Start Guide, Real World Craft, and that way if people are ever in problems during the course, they can just drop in there. Do you want to hear more website 101 podcast content?

Of course you do. Now you can not only listen to us, but watch us on our YouTube channel. YouTube channel, search YouTube for website 101 podcast. So I also teach part-time at a college that's here in Toronto, web development, and I'm

constantly telling them it's like some of the best ways to learn how to do something is to try it and break it and figure out what you did. And so by that process, this Discord channel would be great.

And also teaching other people. It solidifies those fundamentals and the facts about how something works. So if you can explain it. to somebody else. And oftentimes new people are intimidated to do that. So if it's a discord

specifically for other people who are currently learning, it would, you know, hopefully people would be a little more open to sharing suggestions. So hey, this worked for me. Right. Or, and I would love to also have some, when someone's struggling with something and I get

emails sometimes from people, but I feel like people sometimes has it in to send an email and maybe their view glass has it to just message and a discord. But if they're struggling with something, it might be because I did something wrong.

whether I messed up something, I messed up an example that they downloaded, or I just structured that part of the course in a way that was confusing. It would be really helpful to see that as well.

And, because you can always, when you're teaching, you teach the best way you think you can, and then you're starting to feed off the feedback of your students. I mean, Amanda, I don't know if you teach in a classroom

or not, like in a physical classroom, but you can, like you look at the students' eyes and you can immediately. read the room and say. You can see the blank faces and I need to explain it a different way. Exactly. Exactly. So I want that. I don't get that. It's a one-way

medium. So I really want to try to get some of that back. Teaching online is not fun. I was gonna pepper you with so many teaching questions but at the end. I'll say that too. Oh yeah, let's do it. But for now what I wanted to know is how do you

personally learn about the new technologies? Like even just the ideas of them. So you can start researching them more to decide whether or not you want this. to be a course that you're going to set put together,

or even just learn it more yourself. Who are the teachers you follow? Oh, Sean had mentioned West Boss. I really like the stuff that West does. I've purchased some of his courses. I like to read the documentation.

And then what I do is, so I use Obsidian, is the app that I use. And I create a new Obsidian doc for, let's say, Astro. So Astro is completely unrelated to crap. but can be connected to craft via like GraphQL or the element API.

So it's related but not like in the same ecosystem. And so I just like would go through their docs and most, especially in the JavaScript world, they have pretty great onboarding documentation. So I'd go through that, start to get the like the worldview of, let's say, Astro.

And then take notes and as I'm going and start to jot down like Like I summarize, this technology is trying to do this thing. And that helps me frame what their goal is. And then from there, it helps me understand as I'm learning,

what I'm learning and why they're doing it that way. And then I just take notes as I go, build a sample project, try to get things like really wrong and struggle and figure it out. And then I always go and look,

how are other people teaching this? Because my goal is always to... find the holes in how other people are teaching. And then I try to read, like adjust how I would teach it to make sure to either fill those holes

or to have like a slightly different take. It's important for me to have like my own take and not just do it the way everyone else is doing it. One of the things you'll find if you ever do that is you'll find that a lot of people are kind of parroting

exactly the same way to teach that thing over an. over again. And what happens is that they all skip over some really important thing. And they don't like actually go deep on something. They'll say, oh, we are doing this, you know,

because this and this and this. And then, but that students like, but why? But why? Yeah. And so I like to say, okay, like, this is actually why we're doing this piece of code or whatever it is. And that's how I try to approach it. That's one of the big things

why I got into when I was. teaching Git. That's the thing I did, as Mike mentioned, at the top of the show at NASA. I went there and taught a handful of times on their engineers. They were converting over from subversion

to Git version control. And they had me out. I think I taught three or four classes there. And it was all about not just teaching them the commands. But these are really smart. people and they want to know like why things work.

And that's how that whole section of I have on Git where it's all about Git under the hood, where I show what they call the plumbing of Git, like all those lower level commands and how it all works.

And because I just kind of dug in and dug in and dug in, I would just pull all these different resources and books on Git and try to see how people were covering things and what I thought would be best to cover.

And then I just, I try to then take that. and put it in a digestible format. And it depends on the goal, right? If it's like a quick start guide, then it's obviously very high level. If it's like the Git material I have,

where it's like intro, I sort of, I forgot what I call Git the next steps, which is kind of like middle of the road Git. And then I have Git under the hood, which is only for masochists who want to create objects themselves and all sorts of silly stuff.

Or I'm not taking that course. Yeah. Thanks. Yeah, so it just depends on the... on the process, but it really comes down to that obsidian document. It used to be in Ulysses back in the day. Before that, it was in what I write in before,

what was that called? NvAlts? I'm not sure if anybody remembers that application. Then before that, it was in a Molskine notebook, is where I wrote all my courses out. The first course I did for expression engine was all I had written out.

Wow. Nice. Yeah. It's going to look back at it. I was like, wow, you had a lot of time on your hand. It's back then. In the course of teaching people things and getting feedback, or even just doing the work yourself on a craft,

teaching some feature in craft, whatever, do you ever find that you get ideas either that you come up with or that your sort of students think like I'm picturing someone taking your course and saying oh you know in such and such CMS they do this kind of thing

in this way I wonder why craft doesn't do that do you ever find yourself going hmm I wonder why craft doesn't do that and they come up with new sort of ideas that you may or may not pitch to pixel and tonic since you're so close to those guys I don't want to throw you under the bus for like

coming up with things that they don't implement but I would say that has, I mean, I definitely have opinions on how things should be done, but if you go through the feature requests for a craft, I'm pretty sure that anything that I have in my head has been listed on the cover plus a million.

Right. But maybe sometimes, but I'm, especially with craft five, generally really happy with what they've done. It's going to take a little bit of, I think, getting used to the entries for everything approach.

Yeah, it's been, I'm sure if you're, you know, obviously we haven't, and none of us have done that previously, so it's getting a little bit more challenging. I'm kind of torn on the change from like categories

to entries as, you know, instead of using just like, just like actual categories, like elements. So like I have like strong opinions there. I mean, I have all sorts of strong opinions, but it's rarely like about like craft features

because I'm generally like really pleased with the CMS. I do wish more people knew about craft. I wish that it was exploding in a bigger way. Because I think it's super cool. I just know that like, PHP isn't like the hot.

It's not the sexy new technology right now. Yeah, it's not the thing. Like it's all about all the JavaScript things. And eventually, I like, you know, CraftQuest has a bunch of view code in it. I like.

Astro and React is a thing we all have to use at some point. And I think it's all great. I think that the development experience and the workflows, all the cool tools that we've gotten, like VITs,

and it's all wonderful. And it wouldn't have come about if not for this JavaScript revolution. That being said, it is kind of funny that we're kind of back to this point where everybody's trying to do server side generated sites now.

when before it was all client side. So I get it, I still think there's a, I still think like PHP on the server is still a very valid way to work and with Twig. And then if you want to, you can use React or something

and have like a head with setup. But yeah, so I don't really have any complaints and I think that I wish craft was bigger. I just don't know that at this point in time. that's where like tech is. Like if you go work at a company that's building

like a new platform, most are going to be building it and to probably react right on the front end and their backend would be whatever it is. You know there's plenty of people like you know I work with companies that use Laravel on the

backend and then react on the front end or Laravel on the back end and view on the front end there is like all sorts of different setups but I do wish more people were into craft instead of you know other

tools that are not as good as yeah we could we frequently run into this problem at least I speak for myself with clients new projects it's that whole thing where it's like oh what's it what are you gonna use craft never heard of it what if you

get hit by a bus tomorrow yeah I'm gonna get to fix this thing yeah all that stuff yeah yeah yeah yeah not WordPress right yeah and not you know thank God yeah I'm kind of yeah I want to say something but I'm biting my phone because I don't want

that guy that only says bad things about WordPress. I mean, WordPress is like, it's, WordPress is powered tons of business sites. And I think it has its own place in the ecosystem. And it's done a lot of, a lot of good.

And it's a lot of, a lot of people to, to do things that otherwise wouldn't have been able to do. Yes. I think people try to force WordPress to go too far and to do too much. And then it gets sloppy and lazy and awful load times.

Right. And at the same time, I think that. Some people only work in WordPress in this solution to every promise WordPress. Yeah. Well, to be honest, I only work in craft and the solution to every problem is craft.

I'm sure for every CMS that you choose, there's going to be a large portion of the people there. Right. This is what I focus. This is what I know. I build it. Now, having said that, if I get something that maybe I can't do, or I don't think craft can do it,

I haven't had it hasn't happened, but you know. at that point I'll probably say find yourself another developer here's where to go look for somebody best a lot but right yeah send them to Amanda and

just like pointing her fingers at her face. Amanda, Amanda can figure it out. Amanda, are you the WordPress specialist in the group? I have done lots of WordPress. I am my I was a lamp I'm full stack. Okay. So I mean I I for the longest time I was

PHP. Yes I did front end stuff too but that's I did all of it and then And for the longest time I was of the mindset that I didn't want to be using a content management system, I wanted to be creating the content management system.

But clients and bills and getting stuff together and getting the sites out the door, I really like where I'm at now. I mostly recommend craft on new client sites, but I am flexible enough to talk with them

about whatever it is that they want to use. Yeah. Yeah. And I don't know if you all have ever done a episode about whether you know, like how to talk to clients about technology solutions or not.

But actually, we're going to make a note and we're going to add that to our queue for probably next season. Yeah, we're coming up on the end of this season, but I like that. That's a great topic. Yeah.

Like I have really strong opinions that aren't always very popular that that I don't think that like agencies or freelancers or whatever you are when you're working with clients. Should ever be in the position of trying to convince a client to use a technology.

I don't I think if you're in the room and you're having to Come up with a list of reasons why they should use craft then I think you've already lost the conversation Yeah, so I'm with you on that. It should be like this is what I can do for you

Exactly and I'm gonna use the tools I that's like I don't tell the mechanic that he has to use a certain kind of wrench right yeah Yeah, exactly so and and you can just say like this is what we proposed you should use this is like

What we think is best in class and this is what we're best at and yeah you can you can make a decision I mean if you don't get the job then you didn't lose any money because you didn't have the job so yeah but you should that way you're working in the

tools that you want and you're not having to convince non-technical people how why they should use this this this technical platform we should be selling like outcomes to them this is why yes I like it right yeah anyway you should

yeah you should definitely jot that down as an episode I think I'll tune in to us it's great I will We will add this to our air table later. Yeah. So Ryan, I have a question for you. Yeah. How do you decide what makes a good topic for,

and this is on Craftcrest, a course, a lesson, or a livestream? So there's three different types of content that you have. Yeah. What is the difference and what makes a topic go into one of those channels?

I got a really long but helpful and nice email from a subscriber about his confusion about how the heck I was. organizing my material. And it made sense. And I'm actually going to be making some changes

in how I organize things. But I'll tell you right now how things are. So of course, is a multi video thing where you you learn like a topic typically from like beginning to end that you can when you're done, you know enough to go use that in.

your day to day work. A lesson is more of like a snapshot or in depth on one small like narrow topic and they're typically anywhere from three to 30 minutes and the idea is that I can capture everything in this one lesson. I understand that when you ever a man who knows

this when you teach you typically in your teaching your course you don't have to prepare my lesson for today. So I understand that the the name of convention is strange which is why people you know set with me about it.

And then the live stream of courses, you know, that's typically like me and Andrew Welch doing craft quest on call Although I've had recently had been Croker on who I'm looking at your webpage who was a guest in

A previous episode our last yeah, yeah very recently. Yeah, so And I've had other people on his web had Matt from served on quite a while back But so there's all sorts of People that have had on but the live streams we just we're actually live and then

And those are recorded and posted for a craft quest call as posted for premium subscribers and get access to the, anyone can watch for free live, but then the archive is for premium subscribers. How do I choose like what I do when?

So if I don't think I can talk about a topic and explain a topic within a single video, then it's a course. If I, if it's something that I think I can just get done in a single video 30 minutes or less.

then I'll make it a lesson. If I wanna have fun and work with someone on it, then I'll do it with Andrew and it'll be a live stream. A lot of times I'll do both, I'll do a course and then Andrew and I will do a live stream version of it

because it's a completely different dynamic. I get Andrew's feedback on it. I get the viewers' feedback on it as we're doing it. And then if someone wants to go back and watch the full recording of the actual course,

and they can go back and see that. It's less like banter-y and more just like down to business, but me just there teaching. So that's how I break those up. Then there's also articles. I also have articles on the site,

and the articles is something I've been doing more of with the idea that I'm talking about like this called earlier, where things aren't bindable. We have the same problem with the videos, and we do have transcript.

I think a bratchess fell in the roof of my, hang on. No. You hear about Dog Bark? Yeah. He was sleeping. Check it out if you need to. No, it's all good. I cut this out. It's a metal roof, so if the smallest thing falls,

it's really loud. I'll see. So where was I? Articles. Right, so Craftcrest also has articles, and what I was saying earlier with findability with Discord conversations is that in videos, we have that problem.

Of course you can. can have a transcript, the transcript, thank you, of the video. And that works well. In a lot of the bottom, a lot of my videos also have a written version, summary of that. And that helps.

So it can be indexed so people can find it. But I'm also doing a lot more articles, because I think it's an important way to communicate. And it gets information out there. So a lot of times I'll have articles that

are versions of videos. Or I'll write the articles first and then do a video. So those are the different ways. And yeah, it's just kind of like a, I just kind of go with my gut, like, oh, this is probably a lesson.

Sometimes I get into it, like I'm writing in Obsidian, I get into the whole thing. And then I realize like, oh, like, I have like way too many like. This is a lot. Yeah, I've way too many subheads in this document.

Like I need to break this up into a course. And then maybe it's a shorter course, but it makes more sense to, because when people are learning, you need to give them like, they learn something to say for like seven minutes

in a video. And. And then the video ends. And you need to give them a little bit of a pause. And either they need to do something or just absorb the information. And then you jump into the next topic.

If a lesson video is too long, you can see it in my stats. You see people start to trail off because it's gone on too long and they really need a break. So I keep that in mind. Speaking of discoverability, you said earlier,

you're talked about how you're old school and you use RSS. Yeah. Does the craft quest have an RSS feed? for the articles or the videos? That is a good question. Because I would like to add it to my Slack channel.

So because we have a specific channel in Slack that pulls in articles from select websites. If you've got one, please let me know later. I will. So I just pulled up the code in PHP storm because when I launched CraftQuest,

I definitely did have it. Yeah, there's a feed. I see it right here feeds courses.rscrap lessons. that RSS and then craft quest that RSS. All right, well, there's no link in the foot or anything.

Because I didn't exist. So maybe that's something you could update the website when you got a minute. Thank you. Links to this. I know that Amanda is running out of time. She needs to leave soon.

So anybody else have one last question for Ryan? I had one last question that I wanted to ask on the more video side. With our podcast, I am trying to take some of these recordings and make. to put on the YouTubes and I hate it.

But what do you do for screen recording and video editing and do you enjoy it or is it something that you just sort of force your way to slog through because it's gotta be done? I don't always enjoy it.

The most enjoyable part for me is researching and crafting for the lack of a better word, the course or the material. That's my favorite part. Crafting craft. The recording I find sometimes to be a slog because I've already written everything.

Like, I'm already excited about the course. I just want to share it with everybody. But then the recording and the editing. So what I do is I record my screen using ScreenFlow on the Mac. And then I edit in Final Cut Pro.

And I host with Vimeo, and I can export directly out of Final Cut Pro and it just uploads it to Vimeo. And then from there, I can just grab that link and I drop it into Craft CMS, which is what Craft Quest runs on.

And then there's. have some view code that creates the player and stuff. And then, yeah, I like all parts of it. They're all necessary. I used to have someone edit all the videos for me. But then it was actually my nephew.

But then he finished college and got a job. And so that was that. So I edit them all now. And it's important to, I'm very particular about the content and the pacing. So like Not it's just can't be like anyone that edits it so

Yeah, because you're making I'm making content decisions sometimes and in pacing decisions And I want to make sure that that's yeah the software that we're using right now the website Riverside It has this special. Oh

Let AI go through and make clips for you. Yeah, and it's it's not It's not they don't know the content. They don't know the context and the clips So it seems to just be like almost random So it's yeah, I use another service and not for my craft quest stuff as much but at pineworks, which is the

That Mike mentioned at the beginning is the agency that I'm a partner in We do we record videos and a lot of me get posted on LinkedIn and we use Oh man, what's that the site called? We used to use like Vidya or something, but there's another one that we use

That is That doesn't say anything. We just avoid it. It just creates all these clips and that's perfect for us for that thing Because it's not it's meant for like quick consumption, not for like, morning.

But yeah, those tools, I'm kind of like old school. I like I edit everything by hand and I know in Final Cut and I know that there's online learning platforms where I'm sure you can submit. I would be surprised if you to me didn't have something

where you can, you know, they'll edit your videos for you with AI. Upload the raw video on it. Yeah, but I like to, you know, I care a lot about people's experience that are like, you know, paying me money every month

to provide them with. with good warning content, so I should put that. You have to put forth the effort. Put the effort in, yeah. Yeah. I find that I'm super anal-retentive about things having to be done right, and then halfway through,

I hate myself for all of the time, that I'm putting into it on this activity that isn't my favorite. The high standards. Yeah, the production. The production, of course, is very unglamorous, and it's a lot of me just sitting here in my office,

hoping my dog doesn't bark, and I'm hoping I don't like just make such a major mess up. that it's not fixable. I've gotten good at leaving long pauses. I have built techniques in that I use to make everything go much quicker.

Yeah. Including very exhaustive outlines or writing actual word for word. Really, really important things like when you're clarifying or explaining something, it matters whether you say it correctly.

I would write those things out word for word. So I make sure that that information is crystal clear and exactly how I want to say it when I record the video. Nice. Awesome. That is a lot of work.

Okay. We will wrap it up there, shall we? Thank you, Ryan, for joining us today. Thanks for having me. Yeah. It's been really good. I'm glad you joined us. Yeah, thanks a lot. We'll put all your sites and whatnot in the show notes,

Sean will, I mean, not weak. I'm not doing it. Sean's gonna do it. He does all that work. Yeah, thanks so much for being here. Really appreciate it. Thank you. It's fun. ["The One On One"] The website 101 podcast is hosted by me, Amanda Lutz.

You can also find me online at amandalutes.com. Recording from a secret lair while plotting world domination, I'm Sean Smith, your co-host. One of your hosts today was me, Mike Mella. Find me online at belikewater.ca or on socials at Mike Mella

Have a question for Sean, Mike, and Amanda? Send us an email.