[kwlug-disc] what would you pay for good kernel documentation?

Bob Jonkman bjonkman at sobac.com
Sun Jun 6 23:43:03 EDT 2010

If you're going to offer a *course* then you need to be at the head of 
the classroom.

Nobody is going to pay to self-study from a course outline you provide 
online, but they will pay for access to *you*.  You can make yourself 
available through IM, IRC, Skype, vidcast or Chatroulette, and can 
answer questions, evaluate code, control a remote session, or what-have 
you for those people who have signed up.

I took a course like this where I logged onto a virtual machine to do 
some hands-on administrative learning.  The instructor was also logged 
in on ten student VMs, providing personalized guidance and evaluating 
results.  Voice contact only, no vid.  Far more expensive than 
$39/month, and I was glad someone else footed the bill for me.


Bob Jonkman<bjonkman at sobac.com>          http://sobac.com/sobac/
SOBAC Microcomputer Services              Voice: +1-519-669-0388
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On Sun, 06 Jun 2010 at 0:01, Paul Nijjar <paul_nijjar at yahoo.ca> wrote 
about Re: [kwlug-disc] what would you pay for good kernel documentation?:
> On Sat, Jun 05, 2010 at 11:45:20PM -0400, Robert P. J. Day wrote:
>>    i'm thinking that it could be clear from the beginning that, say,
>> the first month's lessons would be free, after which you would
>> subscribe to the rest of the course for some reasonable amount like
>> $39.  if you didn't think the first month was worth it, you walk away
>> and you've lost nothing.  if you were enjoying it, you pay the money
>> and complete the course.  (there's no bait and switch here -- it would
>> be clear that there would be a subscription fee after the first
>> month.)
> I know that the word "month" is tentative, but does this refer to time
> or to a fixed number of lessons? I would suggest that the latter is
> more predictable (for the end user) and easier to administer (for you).
>>    i have to admit, given how people in some of the other forums were
>> freaking out over a proposed amount of five or 10 dollars just for
>> documentation, $39 might drive them right into a fainting spell.
> If the interactive course is all they get, then you will have piracy.
> One alternative is to include a portion of your *services* with the
> course (which might well raise the price). For example, you could
> critique submitted code snippets for customers for things like style
> and common errors. I could see that being valuable for somebody who is
> trying to get code committed to the kernel, or to make a kernel module
> that is going to be maintainable over kernel versions.
> That relates to maybe the most important question: what kind of target
> audience would be willing to pay for this? If you really want to make
> some income from this, then those are the people to target, not
> general newbies who are kind of interested in dabbling with kernels.
> I think one reason people faint over paying money for kernel training
> in forums is that there are a lot of things to learn, and unless there
> is a solid reason to learn about kernels there are cheaper learning
> opportunities out there. (I could make disparaging remarks about
> freeloaders in the Linux world, but I don't want to be guilty of
> self-incrimination.)
> - Paul

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