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Should Vimcasts go Pro?

I’ve just published episode 50 of Vimcasts. That feels like a significant milestone and a good time to consider the question: what’s next?

What’s next?

Would you like to pay a subscription for more Vimcasts? Please fill out this short survey and let me know what you think.

Each episode of Vimcasts takes many hours of research and development. I have to prioritise other projects that pay the rent, especially now that I’m supporting my wife through her post-graduate studies. I’m finding it increasingly hard to make time for making Vimcasts.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve paid to subscribe to several video series, including Destroy All Software by Gary Bernhardt, Railscasts by Ryan Bates, and RubyTapas by Avdi Grimm. These guys have pioneered a business model that enables them to produce great content and make a living from it. I’m considering doing something similar.

What if Vimcasts switched to a paid subscription?

You could subscribe for a monthly fee of around $10, which would enable you to watch new episodes of Vimcasts. I would produce somewhere between 2-4 episodes per month. (These numbers are speculative at the moment.) The 50 existing episodes would remain freely available. I would only charge money for new content.

To date, Vimcasts has largely focussed on core Vim functionality. I would like to shift the emphasis towards how to customize Vim. I would focus on Vimscript and how to write plugins that make Vim behave the way you want. Instead of shopping around for plugins, you’d learn to build your own lightsaber.

When I set out to write a book on Vim, I did some market research asking “what topic would you most like to see covered?” (I summarized the feedback here). The most popular request was for a guide to mastering the editor, so I wrote Practical Vim.

The topic of Vimscript and plugin authoring came a close second. Steve Losh’s Learn Vimscript the Hard Way provides a great introduction to the subject, but (as the author himself says) there’s a lot more to cover. I’m ready to tackle the subject, if there’s sufficient interest.

What if Vimcasts doesn’t switch to a paid subscription?

I’m still passionate about Vim and I’ve got plenty more material up my sleeve. I’ll continue to publish occasional free episodes as my schedule allows. I may also produce some longer screencasts (30-60 minute duration) for one-off purchases.

But I’m quite keen on the option of offering a paid subscription for my video tutorials, even if the topic is not Vim-related. If I don’t switch Vimcasts to a paid subscription model, perhaps I’ll launch a screencast series on something else instead.

What’s Next? Have your say!

Would you like to pay a subscription for more Vimcasts? Please fill out this short survey and let me know what you think.

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