One of the most rewarding parts of deciding to go online 12 years ago has little to do with the things I post here (the blog’s 12 year anniversary passed earlier this month, but I forgot until a day or two ago).
Amazingly, my YouTube class videos have had over 1,200,000 views. Even more surprising, the most popular are – by far, not even close – econometrics videos (just started a new series that will cover time series – something I’ve had a lot of requests for over the years, plus other things such as quasi-experimental techniques).
One time, at the AEA’s in Chicago, I was on my way to meet Noah Smith for the first time (at a Starbucks). As I was walking across a bridge to meet him I noticed someone running up behind me. It was a student on the market that year, and she had chased me down to tell me that the econometrics videos really helped her. I was quite amazed. I had no idea. I just posted the videos for my classes never thinking anyone else would watch.. She insisted on a picture together – I was embarrassed, but happy to comply at the same time.
At the same meeting, it happened again – another person in an elevator with the same story, and also wanted a picture. I have heard similar things many times over the years. Email about the videos from developing countries – where educational access is limited – has been especially nice. They come several times a week.
My videos are nothing special, they are just there. There is a huge, unmet demand for education, and not just the basics, technical things like econometrics. That’s what I have concluded.