It is true that Eldar’s videos provide a great step foward for anyone struggling with using Blocs. As a university professor covering highly technical subjects, I appreciate good teaching, so I thought I’d give a mini-review of Eldar’s videos in hope it would help others.
His videos come in 3 categories:
- 14 “Getting Started” videos
- 60 “Core Training” videos (edit: there’s also a 24 video ‘Building a website in Blocs’ I haven’t seen yet)
- Several youtube videos
I’ve watched almost all of them twice, and taken notes in some cases. You have to pay for the “Core Training”, and I would say they are worth it.
First, let me be honest about the only negative I see: at times the videos are too easy, and cover things I would have figured out. But on the other hand, I’m a power user and pretty demanding. He’s making sure no one gets lost, and that’s a good teacher. For those a little more advanced, there are controls that allow you to easily watch those parts at a faster rate.
These videos are all organized into categories and well-labeled, which has made it easy to go back and brush up when I forget how to do something. But the greatest value for me has been the things Eldar showed me that I probably would not have found without a lot of time/work. In the videos, you “look over the shoulder” of someone who really knows what he is doing.
Blocs is a great piece of software, but because of its minimalist approach you can miss great features that are there, but somewhat hidden. Also, there’s a real unique work flow that takes some time to get used to. Once you’ve watched him work a while, you start to “get it” – the hierarchical organization of blocs, rows, brics, etc… starts to make sense, and you begin to anticipate the “blocs way” of doing and organizing things. It also helps that at the same time I was learning some more basics about html/css at the same time.
I remember getting frustrated in the first week of using Blocs, which is why I purchased the Core Training. I was also persuaded to make the purchase because Eldar said he’d be adding more videos in the future. Sure enough he has kept that word: a few days ago he posted 12 new videos on the Core Training Series, and indicated more are upcoming in February.
The free youtube videos sometimes cover fairly advanced topics. For example, his sliced borders video contains a lot of content, and is advanced enough that it takes a couple of viewings. I appreciate that he actually made 2 videos on this subject when it was pointed out that there were problems. He found a solution, and presented it – I doubt I would have ever figured that out.
Finally, Eldar’s videos have a pleasant atmosphere – they are very easy to listen to and watch, even a second time. This is related to his sense of style and design. He really has a great sense of how to put together design elements, something which I usually don’t emphasize too much. But by watching “over Eldar’s shoulder” I learned a lot about how small things like shadows, text colors, hover effects, etc… can really make a big difference.
By the way, there are others in this forum that provide some great tutorial videos freely – which I really appreciate and have tried to give back to the extent I can.