lynda.com goes multilingual

Over the past couple of years, I’ve recorded several video training courses for video2brain, an Austrian company that I often referred to as the European equivalent of lynda.com. It turns out that my description was prophetic. If you visit the video2brain website today, you’ll see a subtle change in its logo:

video2brain logo

It now has the tagline “a lynda.com brand”.

According to a press release, lynda.com sees “a huge growth opportunity in new and emerging markets that demand multi-lingual educational content.” That market was already served by video2brain, which has been creating video training material in German, French, and Spanish for the past decade, and already has more than 400,000 subscribers. The English-language video training material that I and others—such as Tom Green, Joseph Labrecque, Maxim Jago, and Angie Taylor—created was a relatively new venture for video2brain. Following the acquisition, video2brain will no longer produce English-language material. Instead, it becomes the multilingual arm of lynda.com.

From a business point of view, the acquisition makes a lot of sense. As a video2brain author, I’ve had access to the full library, and I can honestly say that the quality of material is superb, an excellent match for lynda.com. Over the next few months, many of the video2brain English-language courses will be migrated to lynda.com. Unfortunately, my Dreamweaver video courses won’t be migrated, because they were co-produced with Peachpit. However, the following two courses are available on DVD and in the Safari Online Library:

It hasn’t been confirmed what will happen to my Introducing PHP course, but it’s currently still available from video2brain.

Although I’m delighted that lynda.com has recognized the quality and value of video2brain, I’m naturally sad that I’ll no longer be working with Barbara Luef and all the other great people in the English team at video2brain’s studios in Graz. I had a long chat with Dan Brodnitz, video2brain’s Director of Content, this morning. He’s moving to lynda.com (in fact, it’s a homecoming for him—he was with lynda.com at an earlier stage in his career). The news of the acquisition has only just broken, and a lot of discussions need to take place. lynda.com already has a large cohort of talented video trainers. But I hope they have room for some of video2brain’s English-language authors—and if I’m one of them, so much the better.

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11 Responses to lynda.com goes multilingual

  1. Andy Staab says:

    David,

    I’m disappointed that Lynda.com has swallowed video2brain. I enjoy video2brain very much and in particular your training sessions. Have you considered offering your courses on your own?

    A Fan,
    Andy

  2. David Powers says:

    Hi Andy,

    Thanks for your kind words. Naturally, it came as a shock to all video2brain trainers. Many of us were planning future courses with v2b. In fact, I was scheduled to fly to Graz next month to record two courses. That won’t now be happening. However, I’m already in negotiations with another publisher to record one of them. I can’t go into details yet because the discussions are at an early stage.

    Since I originally posted about the takeover, lynda.com have been in touch with me and other video2brain trainers to reassure us that they hope to work with as many v2b trainers as possible. There are no promises, and we’ve been warned that it won’t happen for a while because the lynda.com schedule is currently full. But I have great respect for lynda.com, and know several people there personally, on both the training and administrative sides. Although it’s sad that video2brain is no longer creating English-language courses, lynda.com has extremely high production standards. If I’m fortunate enough to be taken on, I’m very much looking forward to working with lynda.com.

    As for offering courses on my own, it is something that I might consider if all else fails. However, putting together a video training course is a lot of work. What makes video2brain and lynda.com courses so good is the editorial work that goes into them. The editors clean up our mistakes, getting us to re-record if necessary, and making sure everything makes sense. Many hours of work go into creating a five-minute video. Without the distribution power of a company like video2brain or lynda.com, it would be very hard for an individual trainer to earn a decent return on the time invested in creating a course. I think that consumers of training courses also benefit. A subscription to an online library gives you unlimited access to a wide range of courses rather than buying each one individually.

  3. Luis de Freitas says:

    David,

    Being a video2brain subscriber it’s with an unconfortable feeling what I got from this aquisition.
    First ,the specific focus that video2beain had will get inevitable lost. Just a look at Lynda’s website confirms this. It’ s assumed that several courses and several trainers (wich were part of V2B sucess in my opinion) won’t be moving. This was cleared by an email received from V2B about some questions arised by me.
    Secondly, subscriptions are higher: basic montlhy subscription starts in $25… .
    Thirdly, no courses download possibilities which was a must (see it later!).
    By this I strongly believe that most of V2B subscribers will not move to Lynda.
    I won’t.
    I really believe that conditions are created to a new european company take V2B place. If it happens, with the right conditions, I’ll be there.

    All the best,

    Luis de Freitas
    Portugal

  4. Barbara says:

    ” The editors clean up our mistakes, getting us to re-record if necessary, and making sure everything makes sense.”

    You may be giving the editors too much credit. If really good videos were the result of the editors all of the videos made with the help of the same editors would be of equal skill and they are not. Two of you that teach via video produce far more professional, far more interesting videos then the vast majority do. I haven’t listened to each and every single person that teaches via video but have listened to a very wide variety, (for every single Adobe product, some Corel software, some 3D, HTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript and JQuery), and hit the usual sources like Lynda.com, Creative Edge and NAP and Video2brain, (and more). Of all of video instructors, so far, I would say that two stand out way ahead of the rest and that is yourself and Bert Monroy. You both show you planned your lessons very well, rehearsed them, made sure you stuck to the point, (and don’t ramble like so many do). You both also seem to pay attention to the tone of your voice and make the attempt to speak very clearly and with a reasonable speed, (some talk so fast you have to constantly rewind the video – especially one of my favorite authors whom is fine to “listen” to in a book but a headache on a video. And BTW – Loved your CSS book too – that was a real “lifesaver” for many in our college class on HTML and CSS.

  5. David Powers says:

    Wow, Barbara, thanks for the compliment. You’re right that editors have far less control over the content of a video than they have in a book. Apart from telling the author to do it again, they have no control over pace or tone of voice. They’re also not specialists in the field, so they have to rely on the author making sure all the content is relevant. Still, I’m grateful for the work the editors put in. Without them, creating a video training course would be much more stressful and time consuming.

    Glad you liked my CSS book. Was it the more recent one, Beginning CSS3? It would be great if you’ve got a moment to write a quick review on Amazon.

  6. kasra says:

    Sir,

    My Question is off topic, however, I’m asking you because you are both ACE and Adobe Community Professional.
    I’m planning to sit ACE exams. Because I’m working as a self studied designer and instructor since 1995, I already know a lot about the subject matter and reading Adobe documentation is mostly a redundant task for me. However, since my knowledge is patchy in some areas, I know I still need a solution for assessing myself and find my weak points. Thanks to adobe lack of an extensive, official exam guide, the only solution that comes to my mind is buying some exam prep. software and practice with them.

    My problem is I cannot find reliable and up-to-date (CS6) exam prep software either for desktop or online.

    Do you have any recommendations about exam preps, or maybe even in general, about what’s the best way for me to be sure I can pass the exam before I sit the actual one?

    Many thanks for your help in advance.
    /K

  7. David Powers says:

    To be honest, there’s very little pratical value in taking the ACE exams unless you want to become an Adobe Certified Instructor. It’s a requirement for instructors, but most other employers take little or no notice of ACE qualifications. However, if you do feel it would benefit you to take the exam, the only advice I can give is to ensure you have a good knowledge of HTML, CSS, and the basics of website administration. Many of the exam questions aren’t directly related to the software, but are designed to test your broader understanding of the subject. Questions that are related to the software tend to be rather tricky. For example, they’ll ask which command you should use for a particular purpose. The multiple-choice answers usually contain options that sound right, but use different wording from the software. I’ve also found many questions to be worded ambiguously. You need to try to work out what was in the examiner’s mind when setting the question. The exam fee is quite expensive, so make sure you really think gaining the certification will help you in your career. Good luck.

  8. kasra says:

    Thanks for the helpful advice.

    My situation is a little tricky; since I have no college degree, my plan is to use ACE and my resume (Many years of work and teaching) to compensate for that. I couldn’t find anybody that can give advice on my particular situation. If you have any ideas on how much it will increase my hiring chances, please let me know.

    Again, thanks for your help,
    /K

  9. kasra says:

    One last question: It would be highly appreciated if you recommend me your most recent and related videos for dreamweaver/ACE preparation.

    Thank you,
    K

  10. David Powers says:

    My “Dreamweaver CS6: Learn by Video: Core Training in Web Communication” course is officially approved courseware for the ACA exam. Although ACA is different from ACE, the curriculum is very similar. If you use that course, it should give you a solid foundation for the ACE exam. Good luck.

  11. kasra says:

    Again, Many thanks David. I really appreciate that.

    Warm Regards,
    Kasra