Just a short note about SkillShare (with a hint of bitterness). I used to join their teaching program because–you guessed it–I needed the money and didn’t mind sharing about things I know through video lessons. For a moment it was fun, but then after perhaps a month of being active, I was bummed. I’m not coming back and here’s why.
At first, I thought, Yep, share skills, get paid, good idea. I got some of my friends to join and enroll in my class since one of their monthly challenges required at least 25 students in order to qualify for the teacher payments. I was aware of the terms but unfortunately I was not clear on the rule that marketing my class on other people’s classes was prohibited. I figured that, since other people were doing it too (most of the classes I enrolled in were), it was fine. I actually thought it was standard procedure on their site to share wherever possible.
But it wasn’t the case.
After posting my video lessons within the time allotted, I focused on marketing and gaining students. My lesson reached the monthly challenge deadline and the prize was supposedly a hundred bucks (that’s 100 in USD) plus premium membership for a year. The premium membership was almost immediately activated but as for the $100, I had to wait because payments were released at the end of the month after the video was posted. So it was that, come payday period, I got an email informing me that I violated the terms by posting on other people’s videos and thus I would not be able to get the payment.
Remembering that moment now, I still feel rather bummed. You know how heart-wrenching it feels to work on something for days (i.e. brainstorming, audio dubbing, video editing, the works) and not get the expected credit for it because of a rule that almost feels like the hidden tabs on your incognito browser? Yep. That’s what it felt. It’s like they Voldemort-ed their way into people’s minds, you know, instead of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, it’s the Rule-That-Must-Not-Be-Said, but it’s there and you should’ve read it but you were too busy thinking about the moolah. Granted, I ought to know the rules. But then again, they could’ve given some form of warning (Newsbreak: Nobody actually reads the Terms and Conditions and gets out of it alive).
I can’t say “no hard feelings” because my feelings are so hard on that right now. That wasn’t just a hundred bucks. That was a portion of my time they can’t give back. If they didn’t intend on giving the full credit, they could’ve informed sooner so as not to let people wait and expect for a month before getting the notice that they won’t be receiving anything except for premium membership.
Anyhow, I realized I didn’t need to focus my energies on such negative vibes. It is way better to market yourself and your content through your own website/ blog than limit yourself to services that try to own your content. I have removed my videos since then. I feel bad for the nice people who enrolled. Some things just aren’t meant to last forever, so they say.
Sorry, this note got somehow longer than I’d planned. It’s just my little way of informing ahead if you’ve ever considered signing up to services like these. They’re not always bad, but some simply don’t inform you ahead and lead you on. Bummer. Rant over. Mic dropped. 😏