|yes, this is an ad|
I signed up to be a Craftsy affiliate, which means that I put an ad on my blog and if people click through it I'll get paid for referrals. So now that the disclosure is out of the way, I'll explain why I did that.
First, I think that the idea of putting classes online is a good concept in general. If you're somewhere like I am, where cake decorating classes are few and far between, it's good to be able to do some online classes occasionally. Seeing someone do something is often a better way to learn than reading about it.
Second, when you take a class in person you're TOTALLY TRAPPED. If the class is going slow you can't jump ahead. If you feel like you need to go over something again they won't stop just for you, so you might miss something. Being able to watch something again is a good thing, and being able to skip things that you already know is also good.
Third, the cost of doing them online is a heck of a lot cheaper than in-person classes, and the time involved is more manageable. You can watch when it's convenient, and in bits and pieces. If you have a business it's also a tax write-off, so keep those receipts! They're also constantly running sales, so you rarely have to pay full price for a class. (FYI I'm not planning on retiring on the pittance I make as an affiliate. It will probably pay for the postage for blog giveaways, or let me do more giveaways. Hey, that's a plan!)
Finally, I'm just nosy about how other people do things, and I figure that you can always learn something or pick up some tip here and there even if the subject is something that you've done before.
The PROBLEM that I have with the Craftsy classes that I've watched so far is that they're pretty basic. They don't rate them by ability or skill level, so you're pretty much buying blind. Most of their classes are designed to be pretty simplistic so that people of all ability levels can follow them, so I tend to skip a lot of the sections, then I wonder if I missed some tip that might be useful, so I regret skipping. But if I go back to watch what I skipped I fall asleep because it's so boring.
So I'm going to rate some of the classes that I've watched, and I'm even willing to watch more if necessary. I'm not going to say they're great if they stink, and my rating system will include some unorthodox criteria, including skill level, unnecessary difficulty-making, boredom-inducement level, annoying host habits, required specific materials that you probably can't get, and other stuff that I think of while doing them.
If you feel inclined to visit the Craftsy site as a result and you click through using the badge on the right side of the page that will be nice. If you don't, that's fine. I'm going to post my first reviews starting next week and will continue for a while.
To be respectful of the efforts of the people doing the classes I'm not going to give away all of the specifics that they tell, especially if it's kind of a trade secret kind of thing, but if it's all over the internet by the time I get around to the review I might mention things. It doesn't mean that watching them do it still wouldn't be useful. There just won't be any spoilers, so to speak.
If you have any of the classes that you've been curious about let me know. I'm willing to try them out and see what's up with them, then report back.
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com